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.
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