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Sophie's World

Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

full title · Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy

author · Jostein Gaarder

type of work · Novel

genre · Fantasy/philosophical history

language · Norwegian

date of first publication · 1991

publisher · H. Ashehoug & Co.

narrator · Omniscient narrator

climax · Sophie and Alberto disappear from the party.

protagonist · Sophie

antagonist · Albert Knag

setting (time) · The 1990s

setting (place) · Norway

point of view · 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.

falling action · Hilde gives Albert Knag a dose of his own medicine while Alberto and Sophie explore their new lives as spirit.

tense · Immediate past

foreshadowing · Alberto hints several times about Hilde's father's power, the importance of Berkeley, and the possibility that they might escape. Dreams in the book often foreshadow events that will occur later.

tone · The tone is playfully inquisitive.

themes · Philosophy; free will

motifs · Books; dreams

symbols · Alberto as teacher; Hilde as reader; Sophie as student