Sophie's World Summary

Topics: Philosophy, Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World Pages: 4 (1349 words) Published: November 26, 2013
Sophie’s World is a story focused around the subject of philosophy, as told from a child’s perspective. Sophie Amundsen is a fourteen-year-old girl living in Norway in 1990. She lives with her cat Sherekan, her goldfish, a tortoise, two budgerigars and her mother. Her father is a captain of an oil tanker, and is away for most of the year. One day Sophie is walking home from school with her friend Johanna. They have been discussing the human brain. Johanna thinks that people are robots; Sophie on the other hand is not quite sure. When she reaches her house, she finds two letters in the mailbox addressed to her. One says, “Who are you?” and the other says, “Where does the world come from” (Gaarder, 4). When she receives these letters, Sophie is discomforted. Little does Sophie know that this is the first lesson in a strange correspondence course in philosophy. Every day, a letter arrives in her mailbox, containing a philosophical lesson. Many of the philosophic packets that she receives are preluded by short questions such as "Why is Lego the most ingenious toy in the world?” which she is given time to puzzle over before the next packet arrives, though it is arguably not possible to actually solve these philosophical questions (Gaarder, 43). These packages passages describing the ideas of a philosopher who dealt with the issues raised by the philosophical questions. Although at first she does not know, later on Sophie learns that Alberto Knox is the name of the philosopher who is teaching her. Initially, he is completely anonymous to Sophie, but as the story unfolds he reveals more and more about himself. He sends her packages via his dog Hermes. Alberto first tells Sophie that philosophy is extremely relevant to life and that if we do not question and ponder our very existence we are not really living. It is Alberto’s wish for Sophie to have an inquiring mind, through participating in the philosophy course. Then he proceeds to go through the history of western...
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