The Dot and the Line

Chuck Jones/MGM’s classic 1965 Oscar-winning short film based on Norton Juster’s 1963 book The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics inspired by Edwin Abbott Abbott’s 1884 novella “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.”

The story details a straight line who is hopelessly in love with a dot. The dot, finding the line to be stiff, dull, and conventional, turns her affections toward a wild and unkempt squiggle. The line, unable to fall out of love and willing to do whatever it takes to win the dot’s affection, manages to bend himself and form an angle. He works to refine this new ability, creating shapes so complex that he has to label his sides and angles to keep his place.

The dot realizes that she has made a mistake: what she had seen in the squiggle to be freedom and joy was nothing more than chaos and sloth. She leaves with the line, having realized that he has much more to offer, and the moral is presented: “To the vector belong the spoils.”



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