Flatland Reading Questions

  1. How do the various shapes in Flatland appear to the author (A Square)?
  2. Answer the following questions about houses in Flatland:

    1. What shape are most houses in Flatland?
    2. Why are triangular and square houses forbidden by law in most places?
    3. Why are there no windows?
  3. What is the ``Law of Nature'' regarding the number of sides of sons compared with their fathers? Is the Law of Nature always followed?
  4. Why does the author find it important that sometimes a True Equilateral is born of Isosceles parents? What occurs as a result of such a birth?
  5. Give a quick overview of the ``Laws concerning Women'' in Flatland.

    1. Why were they instituted?
    2. Why do the wisest Circles and statesmen favor fewer rather than more restrictions on women?
    3. What are the disadvantages of these restrictions (in the view of A Square)?
  6. By what means do Flatlanders recognize each other and distinguish between shapes?
  7. Why does A Square find ``Irregulars" so dangerous to society?
  8. In the description of the Irregulars, there is a hint at a possible cause for their social deviency. What is this potential cause? What do you think Abbott is trying to say about his society in his description of Irregulars?
  9. What were the events leading to the Colour Revolt and its eventual demise?

    1. What were the longterm consquences of the failure of the Colour Revolt?
    2. What might the longterm consquences have been had the Colour Revolt succeeded?
    3. What social commentary is Abbott making through his description of the Colour Revolt?
  10. What is the chief doctrine of the Priests?
  11. What does A Square see as the positive and negative consequences of the prohibition on the education of women? What do you think Abbott is try to imply about education in 19th century England?
  12. What difficulties did the King of Lineland and A Sqaure have in understanding each other? Who was more able (in the end) to understand the other? Why?
  13. Why does A Square have difficulty recognizing the shape of the ``Stranger'' and what does he do about it?
  14. How does the Stranger try to explain the fourth dimension to A Square? How successful are his attempts?
  15. What discussions from class and from the text book are similar to the discussions between the Stranger and A Square?
  16. When A Square first saw a cube, what did he think it looked like? Why?
  17. How does the Sphere respond to A Sqaures questions about the fourth and higher dimensions?
  18. How many dimensions does A Square come to believe there must be? Why?
  19. Describe A Square's vision of the Sphere.
  20. Compare the scenes early in Part 2 and near the end of Part 2 where A Square is speaking with his grandson (a hexagon).

    1. How do these two scenes make you feel?
    2. What do you think Abbott is trying to say by including these two scenes?
  21. What is the eventual fate of A Square?

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 2.78.
On 25 Apr 2001, 12:36.