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Why everyone should read Sophie's World

Sophie's World is a 1991 novel and best seller written by Jostein Gaarder. "Sophie's rollercoaster ride through 3000 years of Western philosophy throws up some big questions - and leads her deep into the mystery of her own life and identity", is how the blurb on the back of novel describes it. And guaranteed, this would stand true for anyone who reads the book.

The book revolves around an aged philosopher's quest to save teenage Sophie from getting caught in the conventions of life. The novel begins with Sophie receiving two anonymous letters in her mailbox (the first asking, "Who are you?", the second asking, "Where does the world come from?".) Shortly afterwards, she receives a packet of papers, part of a correspondence course in philosophy. As the course unfolds, Sophie comes to realise how blind she has been to the wondrous world around her.


Sophie represents the kid in all of us that has ceased to wonder at the sun that rises and sets in the evening, at the birds that chirp every morning, at the raindrops that fall from the sky, at the water that flows in the lake or at the wind that blows through our hair. We take all of this and much more for granted. The author uses an interesting analogy to explain our state of affairs. He talks about how we would no longer be astonished at the capability of a magician to make a rabbit spring forth from his hat out of nowhere. That's because we know that it's a trick, and that the magician is only doing his job in tricking us. But if a child were to see the same magic trick, it would be shocked out of it's wits, it would wonder, how can a rabbit jump out of the magician's hat like that and so on and so forth.

So if you think your faculty to wonder has gone on too long a vacation, start reading Sophie's World, it will do the needful in bringing it back to it's job.

P.S.-You will fall in love with Philosophy.

Neha Pinto

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