Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sophie's World


Sophie's World is a philosophical novel that takes the reader on an imaginative journey while reviewing the last several centuries in philosophical trends and thoughts.  As the main character learns about philosophy from her mysterious tutor, her life begins to illustrate the philosophies themselves.  It seems as though every philosophy that the main character reads about somehow appears in her daily life.  Each philosopher and his or her thoughts are explored in easy-to-understand detail. By the end of the book, the reader is not really sure whether or not the main character ever even existed, and finds out that he or she was the one who was to learn from all of these things.  
While the plot may be sometimes hard to find through lengthy letters and lectures in philosophy, every word in the book is worth reading, for both enjoyment and learning.  It is not the sort of novel that one can simply read with one's brain on vacation - the book requires you to think.  If you are looking for a mindless read, this isn't it.  However, if you are looking to learn about past and current philosophies in a simple, easy to understand, and entertaining way, this book may just be for you. Even if you are already well versed in philosophy, this book is a good review, and so much more. I particuarly loved the fact that the book went beyond simply explaining the philosophical thoughts to illustrating them.  It is often very hard to pin down abstract thoughts into daily life, but Gaarder has truly done an amazing job doing just that in this book. It is wonderful for anyone looking to learn or review philosophy on their own.

12 comments:

  1. I really use this book as an encyclopedia of philosophy. I also enjoyed reading that book and many other books by this writer. let me teach u a literary term ( if u like that??????): to the novels which are written via sending letters we call them EPISTOLARY NOVEL. many writers such as Jane Austen also chose this genre in order to have an open ending ( no closure) for the story.. great mahdi go on reading more other books. Books' world is exactly like Sophie's world.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Philosophy? Hmm...sounds hard to chew but I guess it's such a great book to read. I never loved my philosophy class long time ago and I hope this book can change my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  3. do you speak/understand farsi?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes. "Farsi" is my mother tongue!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh. I know it's very off-topic, but could you by any chance help me translate a part of a video (interview with Iranian president Ahmadinejad) I found on youtube but can't understand a word?

    The link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ietv-MNQfbs

    I'm especially interested at the beginning (what is the question and why are they laughing?) and the part from 3:32 to 4:30. What are they talking about?

    I'd be really thankful if somebody could help me out ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. to Anonymous!!!
    send the video file to my Email: mahdi.seif@gmail.com
    I cant watch it. its filtered by government here.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Filtered? Wow, I had no idea those things are still happening anywhere in the world (except in countries like China, Cuba or North Korea, for example). Unfortunately I don't have this video file, in fact I just came across it on youtube, that's all. But hey, no big deal. It's not that important, I was just being curious, since it looks like an interesting one. Thanks anyway! Perhaps if I find the video file somewhere I'll send it to you. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I read this book when I was in a tragic period of my life. I was a young student faraway from my family, obsessed with philosophical thoughts about existence, God, fatalism or free will, and so on. I was not so far from insanity when one of our university consultants (psychologists) suggested me to read this book. At that time Sophie’s World healed wounds of my thoughts.
    The main positive characteristic of this book is that even an intermediate reader without an academic knowledge of philosophy can read and understand the subjects of the book. It provides the reader a historical route of philosophical thoughts along with an outline of each idea in a simple language through a sweet story. Although the book has been written for teenaged readers essentially, all readers can find it useful.
    But one thing couldn’t be resolved for me at time of reading and it was Sophie’s ability to overcome God’s will! I think the author has attempted to give the humankind the power of making his fate, but at least for me it was not so convincing to solve the fatalism problem!

    ReplyDelete
  9. http://www.mindlessness.blogfa.com/ this is saeed moosavi's blog. he has made a daily link out of your article. I don't know him but he comments on my weblog alot and intends to read our articles. his english language sounds nice.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I didn't know even a word about Philosophy before Sophi's world,as a matter of fact I hate it.but after reding not only I loved Phi. but also I was familiard with a genuse -Yustin Gorder.Exactly in Sophi's world I had a travel all over in the histoty ,especially in Atenie's philosophy.
    YesI felt that I myself am Sophi and I recognized that the author tries to teach me to know the precious of knowlege,to know that it's the most important that you know you are alive and everyday sun is shinig,........

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love this review of Sophie's world! Gonna visit this blog more often :)

    ReplyDelete