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Course Hero. "Sophie's World Study Guide." October 25, 2017. Accessed December 9, 2018.


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Sophie's World | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • A day in early May

    Sophie gets her first letter from her mentor Alberto.

    Chapter 1
  • Later that day

    A postcard meant for Hilde arrives in Sophie's mailbox.

    Chapter 1
  • A few days later

    In a video, Sophie sees Alberto for the first time.

    Chapter 8
  • The next day

    Sophie finds The Major's Cabin and gets her first glimpse of Hilde.

    Chapter 10
  • A day in late May

    Sophie finally meets Alberto in person.

    Chapter 15
  • About a week later

    Albert speaks directly to Sophie in real time via a computer program.

    Chapter 18
  • June 14

    Sophie discovers she is fictional.

    Chapter 22
  • June 15

    Sophie and Hilde turn 15, and Hilde receives Sophie's World.

    Chapter 23
  • June 23

    During Sophie's garden party, Sophie and Alberto escape Albert's mind.

    Chapter 33
  • Later that day

    Albert returns home and Hilde senses Sophie's presence.

    Chapter 34
  • June 24

    Sophie moves the rowboat in the real world.

    Chapter 35

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Epigraph As an introduction to this novel, Gaarder uses a quotation from the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832): ... Read More
Chapter 1 Norwegian schoolgirl Sophie Amundsen walks home from school and checks her mailbox. While she thinks she might get a let... Read More
Chapter 2 On her walk home from school, Sophie dismisses all of Joanna's suggestions for activities as boring, and they part ways.... Read More
Chapter 3 Sophie receives another letter the next day after school. This time the writer explains myths to her. He begins by intro... Read More
Chapter 4 Later that same afternoon Sophie's mother brings her an unstamped letter and assumes it is a love letter. Sophie lets he... Read More
Chapter 5 Sophie's question of the day is "Why is Lego the most ingenious toy in the world?" This prompts her to get out her old L... Read More
Chapter 6 Sophie's newest letter lands not in the mailbox, as she expected, but on the front step. Her questions involve the topic... Read More
Chapter 7 Sophie receives a reply from her mentor and finally gets his name: Alberto Knox. He says he must decline her invitation ... Read More
Chapter 8 Alberto sends Sophie a video cassette in which he appears in modern day Athens and begins to give its history. Soon, how... Read More
Chapter 9 After pondering her questions of the day, Sophie gets her next delivery from Hermes. She decides to follow the dog to se... Read More
Chapter 10 Because her mother sleeps late on Sundays, Sophie decides to get up early and continue her search for Alberto. She walks... Read More
Chapter 11 Sophie receives another packet from Alberto and a note saying he's not angry she found him, just annoyed that he has to ... Read More
Chapter 12 Sophie gets another postcard meant for Hilde and realizes they both share a birthday and have fathers serving abroad. Sh... Read More
Chapter 13 Sophie does not hear from Alberto for several days, and when Joanna invites her camping, she agrees. They set up camp ne... Read More
Chapter 14 Sophie's next packet is about Jesus and early Christianity. While Jesus belonged to Semitic culture, the Greeks and Roma... Read More
Chapter 15 Sophie does not hear from Alberto for a week. During this time she goes over the postcards with Joanna and plays badmint... Read More
Chapter 16 Sophie gets back to Joanna's house, which was her alibi while she had her secret meeting with Alberto. She finally confi... Read More
Chapter 17 Sophie watches TV and becomes distraught when it is reported that a UN major has been killed in Lebanon. When she calms ... Read More
Chapter 18 Sophie's next lesson is on René Descartes (1596–1650), who is considered the father of modern philosophy as well as anal... Read More
Chapter 19 Alberto dives right into his lesson on Baruch Spinoza (1632–77). Spinoza wanted to look at things from the perspective o... Read More
Chapter 20 Sophie gets home late, and her mother is upset so Sophie shows her the video Alberto gave her of Athens. Sophie's mother... Read More
Chapter 21 Sophie next learns about the 18th-century philosopher David Hume (1711–76), who proposed that humans return to their "sp... Read More
Chapter 22 A plane flies by with a banner wishing Hilde a happy birthday. Alberto begins his lesson on George Berkeley (1685–1753).... Read More
Chapter 23 For the rest of the book, Hilde takes over as the third-person narrator, breaking the expected cycle set by Sophie. Hild... Read More
Chapter 24 Hilde keeps reading and gets to the point where Sophie discovers she is fictional. Hilde looks in her mirror; she is sur... Read More
Chapter 25 Albert calls Hilde on the phone to wish her a happy birthday. Hilde tells her father she thinks Sophie and Alberto reall... Read More
Chapter 26 Hilde reads Sophie's next lesson about Romanticism, Europe's last unified epoch originating in the late 18th century. Bu... Read More
Chapter 27 Hilde thinks about what she has read, and how Sophie has addressed her personally. She agrees her father has gone too fa... Read More
Chapter 28 Hilde feels increasingly on Sophie's side. She talks to her mother about her father's schedule before returning to readi... Read More
Chapter 29 Hilde calls a friend in Copenhagen to carry out a plan while her father is changing planes at the airport. She continues... Read More
Chapter 30 Hilde wakes up the next morning and immediately begins reading. Alberto and Sophie are interrupted by Noah, who gives th... Read More
Chapter 31 Hilde delays breakfast to go out rowing on the lake to burn off her anger. Afterwards, she spends the day with her mothe... Read More
Chapter 32 Hilde wakes up from a dream in which she was down at the dock when her father came home and she heard Sophie's voice. Sh... Read More
Chapter 33 Hilde reflects on how many of the scenarios in the book are based on her interactions with her father. Back inside... Read More
Chapter 34 What happened to Sophie and Alberto? Hilde is puzzled and decides to read the book again to search for clues. Meanwhile,... Read More
Chapter 35 Hilde and her father sit on the dock that night. Albert tells her about the Big Bang, which for a Christian who thinks c... Read More
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