Allegories of Life Essay

Published: 2019-11-03 03:00:20
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In The Allegory of the Cave, Plato uses a vast spectrum of imagery to explain ones descent from the cave to the light. While Plato uses this Allegory to explain his point through Socrates to Glaucon. This allegory has many different meanings. The Allegory can be used in many different ways, from religion to politics to ones own intellectual enlightenment, or it can be interpreted as the blinded person in a colt like reality. Are we all prisoners in a world that is forced on us through the media? How do we really know that we are not just pawns in some ones chess game. What meaning was Plato trying to introduce to Glaucon? This cave can represent many aspects in the world. And the prisoners can be any one. The puppeteers can be a symbol for people or for the things in life that hold us back from seeing and thinking clearly. As we look further into Platos work we will explore many different meanings for this allegory and attempt to give our life some meaning. I would like to start off with a summary of the allegory of the cave as I have understood it.

In the the cave there are a group of prisoners bond form their neck to their feet facing a stone wall. They have been their since childhood. All they know of is what the puppeteers have shown them through the fire images. They hear sounds made by the puppeteers. And the shadow of images cast from the fire. They think that this is reality because it is all they have ever known. One prisoner is lead away from his shackles and is lead out of the cave. He his blinded by the sun at first. Once his eyes had adjusted to the light he sees a tree a real green tree that is alive. Not the shadow of a tree shown by the puppeteers. The prisoner also sees his reflection in the water. He sees the world in its entirety. He has been enlighten. Just as the prisoner was getting a grasp of the real world he is lead back into the cave. The other prisoners are mocking him for what they thought of as a loss of sight. He trys to explain to them what he has seen. But there petty little minds cant grasp what he has seen nor do they believe what he says they have not seen it for them self. To understand what Platos passages meant is to try and understand yourself. Individual enlightenment is one way to analyze Platos Allegory of the cave.

As children we are like those prisoners In the cave. Our parents shield us from the ugly cruel world. Until one day we are introduced to what the world is all about. As a child I feel I was shield from a lot of things death, divorce, heartache and pain. My grandfather died when I was seven, until then I didnt think that life could be so unfair. But life is unfair at times and its is more than fair at others. We all have a cave in life and when we think outside the cave walls we will break free from the individual cave we make for our self. Life is all about pushing your self to the limits, finding out just what you can and what you cant do. The stereo types or labeling we place on others can be a form of a cave.

The cave is just a symbol for limitations we have. Until we have been enlighten we will never escape from the cave of life. At times we all need to be our own Plato and lead our self out of the cave. Like Plato Socrates and Aristotle the great philosophers of the past we all need to challenge societys way of thinking. If you never learn to think for your self then whats the point of going off to college and finding yourself. Live your life the way you see fit, love who you want to love. Stand out and dance in the rain if it means being who you are. Escape from your individual cave and see the light. Let the puppeteers know you know what reality is and you can think for yourself. Secondly there can be a religious allegory of the cave.

The figures that were shown to the prisoner in the cave could be viewed as idols praised by the prisoners and puppeteers. Religion can be viewed by some as a cave. Being kept in the dark of there religion and forced never to see the light. Some religions brain wash there followers to see things only there way. If you dont see, act or think how there religion views you should be. they may kill you. The Amish religion can be view like the prisoners in the cave. They are taught from a small age that God is all you need and the everyday life most Americans live is a blasphemy of God. They live a simple life most have no electrical devices and choose to dress modestly and in plain colored clothing. Some Amish travel to towns for supplies but most tend to grow everything there self. Children are shielded from the outside world until there teenage years when they participate in rumspringa. This event is where teenagers are given the choice to stay within the Amish culture or they choose to be an outsider.

In summary the Amish are similar to the prisoners in the cave being told what to do and how to act there whole life until the day they can see the world and make their own choices. One important note most Amish teenagers choose to stay within the Amish community. Cults are similar to the Allegory of the cave. Members are kept in the dark, from what the real motivates behind the puppeteers actions are. Once one is lead away from the cult and one sees for them self that there is more to life than what cult has shown them. They are enlightened and can see and choose for them self what they choose to be real or imaginary. There is also a political cave, and we Americans at times get blind by what we want to see. Then we never really see the truth behind the facade.

As well know the truth is harder to see and recognize. We see what we want to see as the truth. The politicians are the puppeteers and we the citizens are the prisoners. We see and hear what they want us to know. And as we all know when we step outside from what they want us to know the consequences can be death. The government tells us what we can and cant do by the way of the justice system, not saying that its wrong. But it seems the more money you have the more you can get away with . The political cave has many different levels and different puppeteers, we as common citizens will always be the prisoners to a higher power that can clinch its fist at any time and change how we live our life. One of the most common caves we put our selfs in is the intellectual cave. You can be placed in to the cave because of where you live or how you perceive yourself.

The intellectual cave of life. So many face this cave and dont have the courage or resources to step into the light. What some Americans take for granted is a quality education. There are so many prisoners of the intellectual cave, some are put there by their own doing. It seem better to work a minimum wage 9 to 5 everyday than to spend that time getting a higher education. The very extremes of this type of intellectual cave is being a drug dealer these persons feel they can make more money selling drugs and book smarts wont get them anywhere. But what these select individuals dont understand that is that getting a better education is the key to getting what they want out of life and making a better future for their family then what was hand to them. The ones addicted to the drugs they sell are in a cave all of there own. Most say when they do reach that point of sobriety its like coming out of the darkness, like they have been lead out of the cave of addiction. After having read Platos Allegory of the Cave, I fell I have been enlighten even more.

This isnt the first passage of Plato I have read, it does have a lot of information in very few lines. The Allegory can be used in many different ways, from religion to politics to ones own intellectual enlightenment, or it can be interpreted as the blinded person in a colt like reality. I have discussed in the previous chapters the many different types of caves this allegory can portray. We may never know what platos literal intentions were. What the cave and prisoners were really an analogy for. But I believe that was platos point in writing this allegory in such a way that it could have all different types of meanings.

This passage was written thousands of years ago but all of his words still fit this day and time, and will reach far into the future. We as young adults need to help those left behind in the cave and open there eyes to the light of enlightenment. Weather it be leading them out of a gang or off of drugs. A brighter more prosperous future shouldnt only be for those more fortunate than the many. For those left in the religious cave of life one day the vale shall be lifted and there freedom will come to them as well. They will one day be able to make their own religious choices for their self. Platos allegory of the cave will be past down from generation to generation.

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