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Allegory

Essay by   •  August 30, 2010  •  698 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,694 Views

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Allegory

Plato's The Allegory of the Cave is a short story specifically discussing the parallels between the shadows the prisoners sees on the wall of the cave, and the illusion, which passes off as truth in today's society. The Allegory of the Cave is about Socrates teaching his student, Glaucon, certain principles of life by telling him one of his allegories. The Allegory of the Cave can be interpreted in many ways; one way is to make a comparison between the story and the way of thinking by individuals in a closed society.

Socrates states that the cave is a world many of us would like to see, but is not really how the world is. It is almost like the movie "The Matrix", where Neo, the main character is to discover that the world he lives in, is not the real world, but a world generated by machines and computers. Only in Socrates' allegory, the world is not created by computers, but by individual minds. Socrates wants Glaucon to be a wiser, better-educated man, who will later become a ruler of the State. He wants him to know not only the right, but also experience the wrong, because only a man who knows the bad, can truly understand and appreciate the good. Socrates does this by telling him a story, to let him better understand the principles of life.

Men are chained down in a cave and have a wall blocking their view to the outer world. The prisoners can only see the shadows of the objects on the other side of the wall. If the prisoners see the shadows of the men on the other side of the wall, they will think that the shadows are real. When they are no longer chained down, they will not be able to see the rest of the world, because they are now used to the darkness. The sun will hurt their eyes, and so, will they keep thinking that the shadows are real. If they would be dragged upwards, they would be perplexed by the light, and would not know whether what they are seeing is reality or fiction. After being in the light for longer, they would become accustomed to it, and begin to see more than just shadows and vague visions, they would see everything brightly and clearly. They would now know the pleasure of knowledge, and pity their companions. If they now return to the den, they would see worse than the rest of the prisoners. They would be back

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