Sophie's World | Study Guide

Jostein Gaarder

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Course Hero. "Sophie's World Study Guide." October 25, 2017. Accessed July 22, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Sophies-World/.

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Course Hero, "Sophie's World Study Guide," October 25, 2017, accessed July 22, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Sophies-World/.

Sophie's World | Chapter 8 : Athens | Summary

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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.

Analysis

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.

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