Sophie's World notes on Chapters 1-4

"Sophie's World" notes on Chapters 1-4
Sophie got another letter that had three more
questions. "Is there a basic substance that
everything else is made of? Can water turn
into wine? How can earth and water produce a
live frog?" (Gaarder 31).
Sophie spent a lot of time wondering about
these questions. She knew that Jesus had
turned water into wine but she never thought
about it literally.
The next letter says it is a good idea to try and
figure out what each philosopher's project is
and what they are trying to figure out. It then
makes it easier to follow the philosopher's line
of thought.
The philosopher's believed that there had to
be something or a substance that everything
came from and returned to. Philosophy
developed out of religion and eventually grew
to science.
The first philosopher we know of is Thales,
who came from Miletus. He thought that the
source of everything was water and he thought
about how it froze, vaporized and turned to
water again.
The next philosopher is Anaximander, who
lived in Miletus about the same time as Thales.
He believed that the substance that is the
source of all things had to be something other
then what was created.
Another philosopher from Miletus, Anaximenes
thought that the source of all things must be
"air" or "vapor".
Parmenides thought that everything that exists
had always existed. He is a rationalist which is
someone who believes that human reason is
the primary source of our knowledge of the
Heraclitus thought that constant change was
the most basic characteristic of nature.
Sophie "decided
that philosophy was
not something you
can learn; but
perhaps you can
learn to think
(Gaarder 42).
Myths are stories about the gods which set out
to explain why life is as it is. These myths
were handed down from generation to
generation through religious explanations.
Once the myths were in written form by Homer
and Hesoid, it created a whole new situation
because the could now be discussed.
Reading about all of the myths in the letter
about weather makes Sophie wonder how to
explain how it randomly just starts to rain or
where the snow goes.
These myths were thought of before science
existed and Sophie decides to forget about all
of the science she learns at school.
Top Hat
Sophie isn't interested anymore in games like
badminton or cards and she can't focus on
school anymore because she feels that these
questions about life are way more important.
When Sophie gets home from school she goes
and looks in the mailbox and finds another
letter addressed to her.
The letter talks about Philosophy and how
there will always be something that everyone
needs. Everyone also needs to figure out who
they are and why they are here as well.
She recieves another letter again that
says "The only thing we require to be good
philosophers is the faculty of wonder"
(Gaarder 17). As we get older, our
reactions to certain situations change
because the world becomes habit.
When Sophie's mother gets home from work
that night, Sophie asks her about life and the
earth. Her mother is so taken back by this and
she asks Sophie if she is taking drugs.
of Eden
Sophie receives a letter in the mail.
New node
"It contained only a slip of paper no bigger
than the envelope. It read 'Who are you?'"
(Gaarder 4).
Sophie doesn't know who she really is. She
goes into the bathroom and looks at herself
and talks to herself in the mirror and this
confuses her.
Sophie also starts to think a lot about why she
looks the way she does and why she didn't
have any say in her appearance. She also
starts to wonder what will happen after she
She finds another letter in the mailbox. "Where
does the world come from? it said" (Gaarder
This letter makes Sophie think because she
knows that everything that has ever existed
has to have had some starting point.
Sophie receives a birthday card in the mail
addressed to "Hilde." This confuses her
because she doesn't know why someone
would purposely send their daughter a birthday
card to the wrong place.