At several points in the novel, we hear about a gold crucifix—Hilde Møller Knag owns one, then loses it. The crucifix is an obvious symbol of Christ and, more abstractly, of religion and faith. At the same time, gold is a familiar symbol of worldliness, material wealth, etc. In this way, for Hilde to “lose” her gold crucifix signals to us that she’s embarking on a philosophical journey, during which there is no time for material wealth, and little place for blind faith or the unquestioning acceptance of truth.
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The timeline below shows where the symbol The Gold Crucifix appears in Sophie’s World. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 16: The Renaissance
...a middle-aged man wearing a beret. In the dream, the girl drops a small gold crucifix. Sophie wakes up suddenly, realizing that she’s been dreaming. Underneath her pillow, she finds the... (full context)
...Alberto Knox, wearing a yellow jacket with padded shoulders. Sophie demands that Alberto explain how Hilde’scrucifix came to be under her pillow. Alberto replies, “It’s just a cheap trick.” Without waiting... (full context)
Chapter 23: Bjerkeley
Chapter 24: The Enlightenment
Chapter 32: Our Own Time