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Flatland | Study Guide

Edwin Abbott Abbott

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In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "Flatland Study Guide." November 15, 2019. Accessed November 30, 2022.


Course Hero, "Flatland Study Guide," November 15, 2019, accessed November 30, 2022,



Edwin Abbott Abbott

Year Published





Fantasy, Philosophy, Satire

Perspective and Narrator

Flatland is told in the first person as the fictional memoir of a two-dimensional square referred to only as A Square. The narrator speaks to an imagined audience that exists in three dimensions. Cultural references imply that the audience is made up of contemporary English readers. The narrator addresses his readers directly in the second person.


Flatland is written in a combination of past and present tenses. Sections describing the general conditions of Flatland are written in the present tense while accounts of specific incidents that occurred seven years ago are written in the past tense.

About the Title

The titular Flatland is the name the character A Square assigns to his two-dimensional world to help three-dimensional readers understand it. The first part of the book is an explanation and partial history of Flatland. In the second part, A Square describes his journeys to other dimensions and the refusal of the people of Flatland to accept what he learns. The subtitle A Romance of Many Dimensions refers to the different dimensional worlds visited: Pointland, which has no dimensions; Lineland, which has only one dimension; Flatland, which has two; and Spaceland, which has three. It also references A Square's wish for the reader to engage in the heroic adventure, or romance (medieval tale of adventure), of imagining more dimensions than they understand.


This study guide for Edwin Abbott Abbott's Flatland offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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