Allegory Of A Cave

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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Summary In this selection "Allegory of the Cave"� by Plato, Plato reveals what prisoners in a cell choose not to see. Furthermore, the prisoners are blinded by their own conformity, which consequently keeps them in the dark. Plato reveals what life in the cell is like for the prisoners and what different things symbolize for them. For example, the light of a fire symbolizes the brightness of the sun. In addition, Plato describes how shadows hold an importance to the prisoners. When a prisoner sees a shadow it is up to him to decide what the shadow is of and what it could reveal. To a prisoner the world is right above them, but Plato continues to portray the facts that if a prisoner were to make an attempt to leave, he/she would be killed. I get the feeling however that this is not the reason for the prisoners's choice not to unveil themselves to the real world.

Instead, they lie in the pit comprehending what they believe the world is.

Later in this selection, Plato tells Glaucon that the prisoners have formed a habit and can ironically see ten thousand times better than the people conformed to true light of the world. In addition Plato describes that to be a leader of a State, a person must have virtues and wisdom, obtained through non-bias points and people who were exempt from corruptness. The only people that carry both of these attributes are people like the prisoners whom are left to form their own views of the world. Plato states that if the prisoners were introduced to the world it would take them a while to adjust, not only with their eyes, but also with their former beliefs. It would be devastating to such a person to...



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