Tyler Buck Ms. Halco Honors English II, P. 4 02/09/10
Reaction Paper

In Jostein Gaarder’s, Sophie’s World, Ms. Gaarder is able to effectively combine two stories within a story to help us find the true meaning of our lives by studying the history of philosophy. I noticed that although the story is written as a textbook of philosophy, it really is a guide on how we as humans should approach our own lives. I was wondering throughout the book who was the main focus of the story. Was it Sophie or Hilde?

But once I neared the end of the book, I realized that the book’s main character is a combination of the both, because Sophie and Hilde represent a direct translation to how we should react to philosophy and use it in our own lives, making us the real focus of the book. Gaarder uses so many symbols to convey the ideal philosopher and learner. We find out that Albert is the model for Alberto, and that Hilde is the model of Sophie. This reminded me of the many children stories that my mom used to read me as a kid that had the parent in the book reading a story to their kid about another set of parent and kid.

When the book started, I was unsure of what to think. But once I had reached the middle of the story, the plot was revealed. Then, Gaarder throws the reader for another loop when the knowledge of Albert writing the book is thrown in, along with all the fictional characters. But in the end, I realized the confusing plot was all part of Gaarder’s plan to symbol the chaotic and stressful ordeals that we all have to go through in life. The point of Sophie’s World is to help us to question our own lives, and to help guide us through our own lives.

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I thought the book treated my intellectual side very well because of all the things I learned when the book described the philosophers. I have never considered myself a fully religious person, and when learning about all the different philosopher’s beliefs, I found many different beliefs that apply to me. Through this, I found a belief that fits to what I believe of the world. When I first began the novel, the questions, “Who are you? ” and “Where does the world come from? ” didn’t really apply to me. But after considering all the different things I learned, I can now say that I am a nique individual and that the world comes from many different places, and although there is no way of proving which theory is right, asking questions and formulating ideas is part of living. Before I read Sophie’s World, I would have answered that language limits philosophic ideas. But now, I know that asking questions and being a philosopher is an innate part of humans, and it can be learned, as seen with Sophie. After reading Sophie’s World, I can now say that Jostein Gaarder has created a wonderful book that all should read, if they want to learn how to approach and live a long and full life of peace and happiness.


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