Sophie's World

by: Jostein Gaarder

Alberto

Alberto Knox is Sophie's philosophy teacher. He is the ideal teacher, and never stops learning. Alberto is dynamic, and he is just as willing to learn from Sophie as she is from him. In the beginning of the book it is most often he who must explain things to her, but by the end they are equals and treat each other that way. Alberto cares about Sophie and orchestrates their escape. He is also extremely pensive and always thinks things through. Many times, Sophie rushes ahead with her thoughts and Alberto points out to her that she has not stopped to consider something. He is a great example of the fact that thinking things through, even if it sometimes takes a while, is preferable to jumping to conclusions. And Alberto is also humble. He is a true philosopher because he does not believe that his knowledge is all that great and so when he makes a mistake he is quite willing to learn from it. Throughout the book it is difficult to see much change in his character, but he definitely becomes livelier as Sophie begins to get better at philosophical thinking. That could be because as a philosopher he values the company of one who can teach him above all else. Alberto also has a firm belief in reason, he uses his mind to control situations that he does not have control of. For example, he realizes that if they are simply thoughts in Albert Knag's brain, then perhaps they can utilize Hilde's father's unconscious to help bring about their escape. Even in the face of unbelievable circumstances Alberto holds on to the one thing that makes him human—his ability to think.