Breath of Clarity

Sophie’s World “Wonder” Comic

My comic focuses on the most important attribute of a philosopher: wonder. The study of philosophy was originally born because of natural inquiry and the search for the human condition. Jostein Gaardner explicitly states this in the text saying, “the soul yearns to fly home on the wings of love to the world of ideas. It longs to be freed from the chains of the body.” The way that the book unfolded represents the journey that Sophie took in the story. The exhilaration and excitement that Sophie displayed when she first received the letters explains the way that a soul craves understanding and comfort in freeing itself from the material world. This comic illustrates the fact that everyone, even the most technically minded individuals need to find meaning in their lives. The motivation to seek truth is the foundation of the philosopher in each of us. Gaardner mentions when first introducing us to the field of study saying, “the only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder.” The fact that there is no finite answer to the essential questions of philosophy means that a theorist must maintain humble curiosity, in order to not get caught up in the frustration of contemplating complicated ideas. In the middle of the story, Sophie started to have conversations with Alberto, and within those dialogues we recognize Sophie starting to ask questions. Her sense of wonder was evident. The master repeatedly reassures Bill that everyone has the capacity to understand and be a part of intellectual discussion because all of us were born with the will to develop theories. Gaardner shows this in the novel saying, “since real understanding must come from within… everybody can grasp philosophical truths if they just use their innate reason.” Gaardner created a character of a naiive young girl who was able to contemplate such high level concepts, simply because of the ability to reason that all humans possess. Sophie’s courage to embark on this journey of inquiry is admirable. This was illustrated at the end of the comic when Bill Gates and Master discussed that becoming a philosopher is not easy, but the wisdom is worth it.