Synopsis:
Flatland is a story narrated by A. Square, a two-dimensional plane figure belonging to the middle class in Flatland. There are two parts to the story, the first of which is A. Square explaining to the reader the nature of his two-dimensional world and the people (regular polygonal shapes) who belong to it. There is a clear and present hierarchy of classes where women are at the lowest of the totem pole. They are simply a single line segment. Following women in classes are the soldiers, being isosceles triangles and after them begin the regular polygonal shaped classes. As the number of sides increase, so does the social class that shape belongs to until the sides become so infinite they are indistinguishable from the gods, or circles. A. Square later goes into some historical events that explain why things are the way they are in Flatland and describes their physical senses and how they can tell the difference between social classes so as not to have the unfortunate event of bumping into a member of a higher social class. The lower classes feel each other and the higher classes go to school and learn how to distinguish one another by sight. The second part of the book goes into A. Square's endeavors with Spaceland dealing with the God of that culture, the Sphere, and where the idea of A. Square's vision came about after his dealings with the Sphere. Then, A. Square discusses how he tried to explain the concept of three dimensions to his grandson.

Review:
From Matt: In my opinion, this a fantastic book for the more advanced reader with a large vocabulary. The Geometry concepts are not nearly as complex as the extremely wide vocabulary used, but the tale itself is nonetheless fairly keeping. In other words, once I began reading this book, it was very difficult for me to put down even if I had to do so often to pick up the dictionary sitting next to me. Using this book as a text in high school would be unwieldy for the average high school student, but excerpts would be more than useful in the classroom in explaining key concepts of angles, symmetry, and polygonal shapes.
From Ethan: I thought that this was a great book, and it is a must read for anyone who is interested in math. I was blown away by how well that the author portrayed flatland to reflect the ideas of the human society. The detail and description of the social aspects of flatland were what made this book so interesting to me. As a future math teacher I will be teaching geometry and I will use this book very much to incorporate different ideas of geometry.
From Paul: After getting past the slow start and the old language, this was a very good book. I was intrigued by the descriptions of the process by which the inhabitants of Flatland go about recognizing one another. I also found the great difficulty that the square had describing his world to a line as well as the difficulty that a 3 dimensional figure had explaining his world to the square to be very interesting. Flatland made me think- very good book!

Class Activity:
(1)We will write down several different occupations down on the board, and the class will have to draw the shape that represents the occupation, based off of the social class system represented in Flatland.
(2) Have students discuss what the inhabitants of Flatland would see if a 3 dimensional figure other than a sphere visited them.

Contributors:
Matt Hoff: Synopsis and Review
Ethan Ozinga: Class Activity and Review
Paul Harding: Class Activity and Review