Sophie’s World

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The Gold Crucifix Symbol Analysis

The Gold Crucifix Symbol Icon

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 Gold Crucifix Symbol Timeline in Sophie’s World

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
Philosophy, Wisdom, and Wonder Theme Icon
The Nature of Reality Theme Icon
...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)
Philosophy, Wisdom, and Wonder Theme Icon
The Nature of Reality Theme Icon
Education, Mentorship, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...vitality. Hilde’s father tells Hilde to be more careful, noting that she’s lost her gold crucifix. He also tells Hilde that he’s “just around the corner.” (full context)
Philosophy, Wisdom, and Wonder Theme Icon
The Nature of Reality Theme Icon
Education, Mentorship, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...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
Philosophy, Wisdom, and Wonder Theme Icon
The Nature of Reality Theme Icon
Education, Mentorship, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Free Will Theme Icon
Women and Sexism Theme Icon
...strange girl as herself. Hilde continues reading. At the part when Sophie finds a gold crucifix, Hilde realizes that she’s lost her own crucifix recently. (full context)
Philosophy, Wisdom, and Wonder Theme Icon
The Nature of Reality Theme Icon
Education, Mentorship, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Free Will Theme Icon
...dream is prophetic—her father really will return. Because of this, and because of her lost crucifix, she starts to think that Sophie “really existed.” (full context)
Chapter 24: The Enlightenment
Philosophy, Wisdom, and Wonder Theme Icon
The Nature of Reality Theme Icon
Education, Mentorship, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Free Will Theme Icon
Women and Sexism Theme Icon
...her father wrote. Before Hilde returns to her room, she mentions that she’s missing her crucifix. Hilde’s mother replies that Hilde lost it by the dock weeks ago; she adds that... (full context)
Chapter 32: Our Own Time
The Nature of Reality Theme Icon
Free Will Theme Icon
...father returned from Lebanon. In the dream, Hilde crosses paths with Sophie, who’s carrying Hilde’sgold crucifix. At the end of her dream, Hilde embraces her father. (full context)