Flatland Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Explain why Hoffman believes Abbott was afraid the writing of the book may tarnish his other writings.

Hoffman notes that Abbott wrote the book under a pseudonym. His other works, however, he wrote under his own name, and was happy to have attributed to him. To Hoffman, this may have indicated a belief on the part of Abbott that his lack of mathematical training may bias readers against his book, and make critics take less serious his other works.

2. Why does Hoffman believe the development of the fourth dimension does not lessen the lessons of the book?

He notes that the fourth dimension is not spatial, but temporal. Because of this, the fourth dimension does not detract from the dimensional concepts presented within the book. Even in Flatland, time exists, as is shown by A. Square's mention of a new millennium and of the sands of the half hour glass.

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