OF THE BOOK
( Chapter I-XI )
The Garden of Eden
The first chapter of the book was entitled “The Garden of Eden” the story was well written, I was able to imagine the environment and I was able to see how Sophie would react on those given situations. The first questions that Sophie receives make her think about who she is and where the world came from. These questions are easy to ask and almost impossible to answer, but what is most amazing of all is that people stop asking them. Sophie realizes that she has never really thought about these things before, and when she does she understands that nothing could be more important. It seems that knowing who we really are is necessary for our lives to have meaning and import. Sophie thinks about the fact that the world is part of the universe and that must come from somewhere. Sophie did not accept that something must have come from nothing. Sophie also thinks that even if God created the universe, he himself must have come from somewhere. As a reader I also feel the same as Sophie’s reaction and also ask myself “who am I’’ and “where the world came from’’. As little children we are tremendously inquisitive, and we wonder about everything, but as life goes on we begin to take certain things for granted even though we do not understand them.
The Top hat
The second chapter was entitled “The Top Hat’’. Sophie tells no one about the strange letters, and is uninterested in playing with her friend Joanna the next day. After school she rushes home and finds a letter written to her. It contains three pages describing philosophy. The letter suggests that what is most important in life is philosophizing attempting to understand ourselves and our role in the world. There are not many philosophical questions, but there are many ways to answer each one. Life itself is like a magic trick, and philosophers must always observe it with wonder. After reading the letter, Sophie goes back to the mailbox and finds another one, which stresses the fact that all that is required to be a philosopher is the capacity for wonder. Babies have this capacity, but most people become inured to life and no longer find it wonderful. Philosophers are different from others, and the philosopher writing the letters wants Sophie to never lose her sense of wonder. The letters will comprise a philosophy course for her to take. Sophie tries to have a philosophical discussion that night with her mother, but it only leads to her mother wondering if Sophie has begun taking drugs. What is most important in life is asking these philosophical questions and most people do not ask them. In fact, a philosopher has more in common with a child than with most adults. Gaarder seems to think that most people live their lives without actually partaking in the most important part of living. It is thinking that is critical and not just thinking about practical, everyday affairs. We need to think about life itself, to ask why about everything that we normally take for granted.
A day later, after school, Sophie finds a letter from her dad, working far away, and then another on philosophy. This letter describes the situation leading up to the beginning of western philosophy. Before the Greek philosophers, people explained life through myths—stories about the gods. But the early Greek philosophers questioned the myths and began looking for other explanations for why the world is the way it is. Sophie thinks about this and realizes that making up stories to explain the workings of nature is not so far-fetched, for she would do the same if she did not already have other explanations. Sophie learns that before people started turning to other types of explanations, they made up myths to explain what they could not understand. After reading about this, she thinks that she probably would have done the same thing—when things seem to happen of their own accord it...