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Flatland And The Fourth Dimension Prompt:Analyze A Concept Derived Or Inspired By Flatland, Written By Edwin A. Abbot, Supported By Information About The Novel To Demonstrate Comprehension.

1152 words - 5 pages

Living in a three-dimensional world does not enable one to visualize or physically experience anything more than three dimensions. Some people believe that because of this time, "a non-spatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future" is a strong candidate for the 4th dimension, while others believe it can't be visualized or physically experienced so it is not (Dictionary). Though opinions may differ, it is an exciting topic to explore. Flatland is a very thoughtful story that will no doubt spark the imagination of almost all who read it and possibly enable some to see a vision of fourth dimension.Flatland, written by Edwin A. Abbot in 1884 is an incredibly unusual novel. It is a fantasy type journey through the mathematical world of dimensions with the main character, A. Square as the tour guide. Though never directly addressed, but due to the content of the story, it seems to take place in the future and spans over a period of many months. The story takes place in three settings; Flatland, Spaceland, and Lineland. Flatland is a world of two dimensions, Spaceland, which is also referred to as Thoughtland is three dimensions, and Lineland is one dimension. For the majority of the novel Flatland is the surrounding. A. Square is a four-sided polygon, which in Flatland is a professional man, and is one of two significant characters in the novel. The other is A. Sphere from Space land, and a king (longest line) from Line land. The first half of the novel describes the inhabitants of Flatland, including lines (women), isosceles triangles (soldiers and lowest class workmen), equilateral triangles (middle class men), squares and pentagons (professional men and gentlemen), hexagons and heptagons (nobility), and circles ("priests" of the highest rank of all and technically not circles but polygons with many sides). A. Square further explains the ways of identifying one another and how their society functions.In the second half, A. Square is visited by A. Sphere who is trying to convince A. Square there is a higher dimension, a third dimension as opposed to Flatland's two. To do this they travel to Lineland, Pointland, and the world of three dimensions, Space land. Once convinced that a higher dimension does indeed exist, A. Square wrongly asks about the dimensions even higher than three. A. Sphere becomes agitated and punishes A. Square by sending him back to Flatland. Once A. Square returns, he feels compelled to share his new found knowledge. In effort to try to convince his society there are higher dimensions, he starts by attempting to explain the structure of a three dimensional world with his hexagon grandson (each generation typically has an additional side than their parents), which in Flatland is a crime punishable by life imprisonment, if not death. His explanation of "upward, not northward" to his grandson was unsuccessful and the book eventually ends with A. Square...

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