Fourteen year old Sophie Amundsen receives a mysterious letter in her mailbox, with a simple question: Who are you? Later that day, she receives another letter: Where does the world come from? These two sentences light the spark of learning in Sophie, and she embarks on a Wonderland journey through the history of western philosophy, guided by a mysterious philosopher named Alberto Knox. .
The book gives us a sample course in philosophical thought from ancient Greek times through the twentieth century, using letters and conversations between Sophie and Alberto as a framework. Sophie's World uses examples from Sophie's own experiences to keep the story in novel form. .
As the novel progresses, strange things start happening to Sophie. Notes addressed to Hilde Moller Knag begin appearing everywhere, and most implore Sophie to pass on messages to Hilde (whom Sophie doesn't know) from her father, a U.N. Major stationed in Lebanon. Neither Sophie nor Alberto can explain the letters, or the other strange occurrences, but Alberto seems to grow an understanding as events happen. At about the midpoint of the book, we finally get enough clues to really piece the strange happenings together. We learn that Sophie Amundsen is a fictional character created by Albert Knag for he's daughter Hilde's amusement.
1. The type of narration used is third person narrative. Sophie is the primary narrator. Beginning with the chapter "Bjerkley," point of view switches between Sophie and Hilde. For a few pages the story is told from Albert Knag's point of view.
2. This novel took place in Norway in the 1990s. From the discription given of Sophie's journey home from school, it is early May in a rural area.4. In the beginning of the novel, Gaarder makes comparisons to Alice in Wonderland. He addresses them directly at the beginning of the book by talking about a white rabbit, then bringing the Mad Hatter into the story briefly in the second half.