Where Literature Ties in With Hypotenuses

Homeschooling is filled with wonders, many of which it is too easy to forget, so I am going write one before the afore-mentioned event occurs.

A few days ago, I was watching my math lesson about right triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem, etc. A right triangle is made up of two "legs" and one "hypotenuse."

A few weeks ago, I was reading the O. Henry story "Schools and Schools" (I'll have to write about O. Henry very soon--those are some stories that are not to be passed up). The story was about three cousins: Gilbert, Nevada and Barbara. Gilbert and Barbara were raised together, and they have a sort of a tacit agreement that someday they will marry. When Nevada enters the scene, however, that arrangement is upset. To cut a long story short, O. Henry called the trio a "triangle" and Barbara was relegated to the position of "the hypotenuse." I had no idea what that meant until I learned about the Pythagorean theorem. I love it when my educations dove-tails like that.


Marian said...

That's cool! It happens to me sometimes, too...since I've been studying chemistry, I've come to understand many of the chemistry terms Doyle uses in the Holmes series; and the green-to-purple (or something like that) colours of the chemical reaction in Jekyll & Hyde made some sense. :)

Lucie Manette said...

I know, I was soooo excited to know what haemoglobin (or something like that) was. A Study in Scarlet, you know. ;)