Sophie's World | Study Guide

Jostein Gaarder

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Sophie's World Study Guide." Course Hero. 25 Oct. 2017. Web. 17 Nov. 2018. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, October 25). Sophie's World Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "Sophie's World Study Guide." October 25, 2017. Accessed November 17, 2018.


Course Hero, "Sophie's World Study Guide," October 25, 2017, accessed November 17, 2018,

Sophie's World | Chapter 8 : Athens | Summary



Alberto sends Sophie a video cassette in which he appears in modern day Athens and begins to give its history. Soon, however, he takes her back to the time of Socrates and Plato. It astounds Sophie when Plato himself gives her the questions of the day, and she does not understand how what she is seeing could possibly be real.


This chapter marks the first time Gaarder inserts obvious fantasy elements into the narrative. Until this point the reader could believe the novel is contemporary realistic fiction about a girl in Norway. Certainly there have been some unrealistic moments, such as a dog delivering Sophie's mail, but that can be rationally explained. Sophie herself notes that unless Alberto hired expensive set builders to recreate ancient times, which would be "a colossal price to pay just to teach Sophie about Athens," it must be real. Even if the reader could accept that the video was faked, Sophie would still start to question the reality of this world.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Sophie's World? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!