ALISON TARBOX--GULLIVER'S TRAVELS In his voyage to Laputa, Swift's hero, Captain Gulliver, is presented with many strange new ways of life. The author's use of satire shows that he thinks these ideas, and their counterparts in real-world England at the time, are quite silly. But that Swift could even dream up such worlds as Laputa, Balnibarbi, and Glubbdubdrib shows that his mind was not completely unlike that of E. A. Abbott, who wrote his novel Flatland over 150 years later. Particularly, I think that Gulliver's travels in Lagado, and his tour through the Grand Academy, show that Swift often thought about new viewpoints and higher dimensions, and how they could affect the three-dimensional world. For example, Gulliver meets an "ingenious architect" who is working on a new way of building houses, that is, by starting with the roof and working downwards to the foundation. While Swift is most definitely satirizing England's Royal Society and its constant attempts to master what Swift felt were unnecessary skills and trades, Gulliver nevertheless is still very impressed with the architect's wild idea. Abbott, too, would have been interested to meet this architect, and discuss with him how he meant to ovecome the problems of working in the third dimension in such a way. He attempts to solve the problem of building of houses in a two-dimensional world in his novel, which indicates that he has thought very long about why they are built a certain way in Spaceland. Another interesting idea that Gulliver is exposed to in the Grand Academy is that of using one's senses in unconventional ways. He meets a blind man who teaches his pupils how to determine the color of paint by smelling and feeling it, rather than by seeing it. Compare this concept to the tradition of feeling in Flatland. In that world, everyone is dependent on other senses to determine the actual "appearance" of objects, something that they never actually comprehend (unless they are fortunate as A Square). Swift's particulara example here is most likely meant to satirize Robert Boyle's book, Experiments and Observations upon Colour, which is contemporary with Swift's novel and contained similar claims as the blind man had. However, Swift's cynicism is coupled again with his imagination, which seems to show that he may partly believe that such a strange manner of sensing color is possible. A more subtle use of dimensionality in Gulliver's Travels is in a Grand Academy artist's claim that spiders are far superior to silkworms at making silk, because they "understood how to weave as well as spin." Since the act of weaving involves higher dimensionality than that of spinning, we get the idea that the more dimensions one works in, the better the end product, and the more efficient the process. Perhaps the only difference, then, between Abbott's work and that of Swift is that Swift immediately identifies with the lunacy of the ideas projects going on in the Grand Academy, and the pretentiousness of the "experts" there. Abbott, on the other hand, allows his imagination to drive the novel into the infinite possibilities of the world of higher dimensions.