Chapter XXXIII-THE GARDEN PARTY
I. HILDE KNAG AND SOPHIE: CAN THE MAJOR BE DISTRACTED? Read the Ssummary on page 466-and recall the following flashbacks. The passage is essential:
FINALLY, SOPHIE HAD BEEN GIVEN A BOOK ABOUT HERSELF. WAS IT THE SAME BOOK HILDE HAD? HOW COULD ONE FIND A BOOK ABOUT ONESELF IN A BOOK ABOUT ONESELF? WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF SOPHIE BEGAN TO READ THAT BOOK?
DOES THIS ANALOGY MAKE SENSE?
GOD : BOOK (BIBLE / UNIVERSE)
MAJOR : SOPHIE / HILDE
-WE ARE THE CHARACTERS IN A LARGE BOOK.
-WE FIND INFORMATION ON US IN THE BIBLE AND IN THE UNIVERSE AT LARGE FROM ADAM AND EVEN TO DNA
-ARE WE MEANT TO EVOLVE?
|Page-94--We learn of the existence of the Major's Cabin
Pages 302 / 308--Does the Major's omniscience have limits?
Page 339--Sophie writes invitations to the "Philosophical Garden Party."
Page 352--Sophie is called upon to rebel against the omniscience of her 'creator."
Page 446-7--How aware is the Major of his dreams?
Page 444 ff.--Sophie climbs the tree and is rescued by Morten the Goose from Lebanon--is the distraction working?
Page 449 ff.--Existentialism demands that we...?
A. WHO IS SOPHIE, AND FROM WHERE DOES SHE COME?
B. DOES SHE EXIST, AND CAN SHE READ A BOOK ABOUT HERSELF?
II.WHAT ARE THE REALITIES?
A. ALBERTO KNOX--a philosophy teacher in a novel called SOPHIE'S WORLD.
B. SOPHIE--a girl in a novel who learns the history of philosophy from ALBERTO.
C. HILDE KNAG--the daughter of ALBERTO KNAG for whom SOPHIE'S WORLD is written.
D. ALBERT KNAG--the Major who writes SOPHIE'S WORLD and who is in Lebanon, in a "completely different" reality.
E. JOSTEIN GAARDER--CREATOR OF ALL OF THE ABOVE.
F. GAARDER'S PARENTS CREATED HIM....TO...'ADAM AND EVE'...TO...GOD TO.....?
III. NOTE THAT THE TIME OF THE PARTY IS MIDSUMMER EVE, so recall Shakespeare's play:
A. WHAT PLAY DID HE WRITE THAT CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING AS ACT V OPENS:
Theseus: More strange than true. I never may believe
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact.
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
That is the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt.
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear?
B. HOW WOULD A THESEUS-LIKE PERSPECTIVE AFFECT THE GARDEN PARTY, A PHILOSOPHICAL GARDEN PARTY? AS THE NOVEL CONCLUDES, WHAT IS NECESSARY TO BELIEVE? IF THIS IS YOUR INVITATION TO THE PARTY, WOULD YOU GO?
1.--WHO AT THE PARTY IS THESEUS LIKE?
2.--ANOTHER CHARACTER IN SHAKESPEARE'S PLAY IS BOTTOM? EXPLORE HIS PERSPECTIVE IN THE PLAY, ESPECIALLY WHEN HE QUOTES OR MISQUOTES ST. PAUL. HOW ALIKE OR DIFFERENT FROM THESEUS IS HIS REALITY?
3--WHY IS KANT IN THE 'INVITATION'?
IV. GUESTS AT THE PARTY:
B. JEREMY AND JOANNA --what are they doing and why? Remember to rethink the meaning of the Genesis story. What kind of guilt does the expulsion apparently suggest? What about the reality? Is there another kind of guilt besides moral guilt? Consider these lines from Genesis III:
1: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2: And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil....
[...and after the 'sin']
22: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Apply especially the lines in BOLD to Hilde and her father. What do you conclude? Sophie's line to her mother, "One day I had to leave you," (p. 467) defines the paradox.
V. SUMMARY OF THE NOVELS INTENT:
A. WE ARE A FRAME IN THE FORM OF A NOVEL FOR THE PHILOSOPHICAL EDUCATION OF THE MAJOR DAUGHTER
B. NOTE THAT THE GUESTS RESPOND THE WAY THE MOST OF THE CHARACTERS ON THE DECK DO TO MARLOW IN HEART OF DARKNESS.
VII. THE IDEA HAS BEEN TO DEVELOP A PHILOSOPHICAL FRAME OF MIND WHICH IS TO QUESTION EVERYTHING INCLUDING OUR OWN REALITY, HENCE THE MANY REFERENCES TO DREAMS.
A. EXISTENTIALISM HAS GONE FULL CIRCLE RECALLING THE LITERARY SOCRATES WHOSE THOUGHT PLATO HAS IRONICALLY DEMONSTRATION: IRONCIALLY, THE IDEAL STATE THE EXISTENCE OF WHICH HE HAD SO PASSIONATELY ESPOUSED CANNOT REALLY EXIST!! IN A SENSE, HIS 'GARDEN PARTY' IS ABSURD. IN THE BIBLE, THEREFORE, ADAM AND EVE MUST LEAVE, AND IN OUR NOVEL, SOPHIE AND ALBERTO MUST ALSO ESCAPE TO..?
B. OUT OF THE CAVE?--IS THE PARTY A DRAMATIZATION OF THE THEATER OF THE ABSURD IN WHICH WE....?
VII. STUDY CAREFUL THE MOST IMPORTANT SUMMARY OF THE NOVEL'S INTENT THUS FAR. SEE PAGE 474, "AFTER A THOROUGH PHILOSOPHICAL STUDY..."
VIII. SO WHERE ARE SOPHIE AND ALBERTO NOW THAT THE COURSE IN THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY HAS ENDED?
1-The philosophical dynamics of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness should be examined.
2-As the novel concludes, there is much that could be retrospectively reviewed.
3-Select a writer that would makes the most sense to you to review...Why did you select____?