Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder: A Book Review

SophiePhilosophy is a complete no-brainer for some who have this highfalutin IQ level. Not at all! It is not more or less chicken feed than they had expected. Even luminaries from different fields of studies may have a dickens of a time philosophizing. In my case, I have read it several times, but even now the philosophical arguments are still boggling my mind. (It only bespeaks that I am suffering from low IQ.) So Sophie’s World could somehow cut the Gordian knot.

Jostein Gaarder may have intended to lecture on the History of Philosophy since the suggestion of teaching Philosophy is heavily stressed in the story. He may have had the bee in his bonnet that incorporating this field into a novel might turn out to be something unique. So he used Sophie as the instrument in studying the subject; Albert Knox, the Philosophy teacher. He may have instructed Albert Knox in teaching strategies for captivating imagination by trying some instruments before the lessons are discussed. To be more realistic and insightful, Jostein asked the cameos of Disney and literary characters such as Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in the Wonderland, and what not- not to mention of the biblical figures such as Adam and Eve and Noah of Arc. Cool! Why not? He’s got a clever idea. The class seems as interesting as best-selling it became , doesn’t it?

If so, naïve students, like Sophie, might, likewise, manage to answer the first questions given to her. Who are you? Where are you from? But at the end, after having been instilled in all the philosophical arguments, they might be left hanging with a question. To believe in God or not to, it is a question.

I read it as though I boned up on Philo 101 for a comprehensive test. But I did not find the class high-flown- let alone boring. The deeper the class, the more engrossing it is and the clearer I am on the points. In fact, like Sophie, I have not hung it together yet since I scratched the surface in university. But I would love to read it again and again. If I were cast away on a remote island, this would be one of the books I would ponder over. Why not? I need not to be hard upon myself. This book is no less a big help to me. No need to take my time to mull over the arguments among the philosophers. But for sure ingrained religious believers might raise their brows, for they might suggest the Bible be one of them a la Robinson Crusoe or Rodion Raskolnikof when he was sent to a jail in Siberia. As Albert Knox puts it, it is a bagatelle. (laughs)

The book appears to be a synopsis; it should have been a compendium. But it would doubtless fail to be a big hit. …. Jostein Gaarder knows his stuff.

It’s a bagatelle.It gave my mind pleasure. ^^

Rating: 5/ 5 stars


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