Friday, June 9, 2017

Hilde's father tells her about the universe and the Big Bang while Sophie tells Alberto she thinks they can have an impact on Hilde's world. She hits Hilde in the face with a wrench and Hilde yelps in pain, thinking a gadfly stung her and Hilde thinks she feels Sophie's presence. Albert tells his daughter that they are all a part of the same whole, since everything started with the Big Bang. Thus, trying to understand the universe is an attempt to understand ourselves. Sophie and Alberto manage to get the rowboat out, and Albert makes fun of his daughter by suggesting that maybe Sophie did it. The ending of Sophie’s World was weird and a little disappointing. The whole book was just so overwhelming, that I was not expecting such an underwhelming ending, and I think that if the ending was better I would have like the book more as a whole. A good ending should leave you with some inspiration and cause you to think differently or make a change in how/what you think in some way. This book could have done so much more, considering how different it is compared to others. The style and genre had so much potential to be one of those life-changing reads, yet the forced simplicity of such a heavy subject left me feeling confused. It didn’t make me question my morals or existence, although I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have an existential crisis every couple classes. I was however, able to learn things about philosophy that ever thought I would have known, and dive deeper into the meaning of life and things.

The end of the book raises the question of free will, a question in which philosophers have been asking for ages. And everything that we read in the book we can see in the real world, and connect to what we learn in class to further our understanding. From carpe diem to the debate between living a long miserable life or short happy life, whatever we learn can be exemplified in the book. We know that Albert Knag has written Sophie’s World, and that Sophie and Alberto are characters in it. At the same time, Sophie and Alberto know that they are characters, but they do not know how the book (or their lives) will end. Sophie and Alberto feel like they are in control of their actions even though they know that Albert Knag has made them feel that way. This same problem applies to how we live our lives. Do we exercise free will, or is it possible that our lives are predetermined? While it’s not as clear as it seems to be for the characters in the book, every one of our actions could also be predetermined. We know in our minds that we decide what we do, however by the notion of determinism, all things we do are influenced by an external factor. When we think of our lives as determined most of us take it in a negative way because we don’t even want to imagine the possibility that our lives could be laid out from start to finish because an existence like this seems meaningless. It gives us a sense of helplessness and anxiety that Sophie and Alberto never seemed to have. To me the book basically is a never-ending cycle of questioning and thinking, about free will, carpe diem, and so much more. This is what makes it philosophical.

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