One upon a time, there was a sensible straight line who was hopelessly in love... with a dot.The Dot and the Line: a Romance in Lower Mathematics is a short book written and illustrated in 1963 by Norton Juster (of The Phantom Tollbooth fame). Inspired by Flatland, It follows the story of a straight line who is hopelessly in love with a dot. The dot, however, is in love with a squiggle. The line learns how to manipulate himself and wins the heart of the dot.The book became the subject of a 1965 animated short by Chuck Jones, his first after leaving Warner Bros., with a screenplay by Juster. It won an Academy Award for Animated Short Film.You can watch the cartoon in its entirety on You Tube here. (Ten minutes long.)
Tropes in this story:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: The dot to the squiggle.
- All Work vs. All Play: The serious logic of the line versus the looseness of the squiggle.
- Animated Adaptation: The 1965 short.
- Limited Animation: The Chuck Jones short is a masterwork of minimalism.
- One-Dimensional Thinking: Seems to be the dot's problem with the line.
- Pun: "But even allowing for his feelings, this was probably stretching a point.", and of course the moral (see Spoof Aesop).
- Spoof Aesop: "To the Vector Belong the Spoils"