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Allegory of the Cave

  • Date Submitted: 09/20/2011 03:51 PM
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Professor Nina Askary Langaroudy
English GLL 121 CA
20 July 2010

‘The Allegory Of   The Cave’ is a story that demonstrates how humans are afraid of change and what they do not know. In this work, Plato suggests a situation in which men are living in an underground cave.  The one entrance is located near the top, a burning fire casts shadow.  The men of the cave are chained so that they can only see the wall and cannot turn around.  When objects pass by it creates a shadow on the wall.  The shadows are the only thing they can see and therefore is the only thing they know to exist. At some point for the first time one of them escapes from the cave the first thing he comes out of the cave he’s been blinded by the sun the first reaction is that he’s fearful there’s light everywhere because of the total darkness in the cave. Last, he can look at the sun itself. The sun represents good, which for Socrates is truth/knowledge. Basking in the sun, the prisoner sees truth. He realizes that life in the cave was an illusion.
He moves around he sees trees, rivers, lakes. the sun starts set it become dark and he sees the moon for the first time he’s sees the shadow of the moon on the lake it looks like silver he’s so taken over of the beauty of what is out there that life is just not by being in a dark cave that there’s a lot more in to life than just working all day like a slave being chained and unable to see the beauty of the sun or any of these beauty that’s out there. He comes back in to tell the others about what he saw.  The other men think he is foolish and plan to kill him. 
The world we live in is like the cave because the shadows represent the objects we perceive to be true in our world. We perceive that the things we see are actually what they are, however what we perceive to be true is not how things truly exist and what we see, much like the shadows, are not how things truly are. Even worse, we never really see each other we are in the dark. We do...


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