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The Meaning And Importance Of Plato's Allegory Of The Cave

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The Allegory of the Cave is the story written by the Greek philosopher Plato, who was the founder of the Platonist school of academy and thought. He presented this story as the dialogues between two people. An allegory refers to a deeper meaning in this story everything is illustrating something else. In this story Plato, tells that most of us are living in world where all of us are covered with fake environment unknown to reality. In this essay, I will argue that Plato is correct. As in the story, Plato describes the real, and the virtual world that he experiences after coming out from cave in the story. I believe in him since he never observed this present reality as early he just observed the shadows and trusted this occasion is the main reality. However, when he came outside and encountered this present reality his contemplation was completely changed. He got shocked after experiencing reality. Further, he also tried to explain his experience with the remaining world, but no one was interested to hear him.

In began, Plato elucidates that, the people who are living in the cave are the prisoners and they are there from their childhood, moreover, they are chained in such a manner that they are only able to face the wall as the neck and the legs are fixed. Even, they see only the wall, and the shadows from the objects like chairs, artificial trees, and puppet as behind them is fire. These prisoners considered shadows as a reality as they are unrevealed about the truth. However, the echo’s which listen by them are of the people who are walking back side of the wall, but they think these are caused by the shadows as that is reality for them because they haven’t gone out of the cave.

The shadows which were made by the flame is differentiated by the confusions or the illusions that are made in the modern era by the technology, this includes diversity of things like videos, 3-Dimension movies, electronics, and many more. Plato, however, “specifies the fire as political doctrine that are taught in a nation state.” In the mid of the story, Plato freed a prisoner, who first turn back and saw the fire first time, and that hurt and frightened him, because of more light this will make difficulty for him to see the moving objects, which were making the shadows. After that, he come to know about that the things were artificial, his life in a prison of a wall was fake.

Additionally, Plato tells that prisoner was dragged out from that place in cave by force and rough, when that freed prisoner came out from the cave, he became blind by the sunlight for a little time, but after that he adjusted himself slowly in the surrounding and came to know about the real environment where he learned and watched plethora of things and later, he believe that there is a lot in the real society and feels that the rest of the prisoners should also escape from the cave and come to them in the real reality. Furthermore, because he was in the cave with the rest of the prisoners from since his childhood [mainly because of the emotions]. As a result, he will make an attempt to bring out to the world of realism where he has just endured.

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At the end of the story Plato describes that prisoner as a philosopher as he has the real knowledge about the surrounding, but, when he returns to the cave, similarity happen of blindness for a little time as early happened. Afterwards, when he adjust himself according to that environment, that time he suddenly go to escape the rest of the prisoners, when he told the truth of the environment to other prisoners, they felled that, he is speaking lie, and think that he has lost his mental senses as they were not ready to accept what they have not seen with their own eyes. At the end the prisoner in the cave thought their partner is dangerous for them and killed him.

In real life, according to Plato, He has considered all humans in the world as the prisoners, and the shadows are considered as the physical reality. Moreover, the outside world is considered as the reality accessible through the mind, and the path through which we can came out of the cave is the education, And the freed prisoner is considered as the philosopher, who is the person who ideally can rule the world but to accomplish this place, many times, it can lead to adverse effect as that was happened in the end of the story.

Through his story Plato want to educate people the fact that they are living in a cave created by themselves or by the society which includes the daily competition in human’s life from the first day they are born, the facilities humans are getting like mobiles, cars, money etc. In the beginning stage of life that is childhood the cave is created by society that we should go to school, gain good marks or win in every field. Then in adulthood everybody go after the money and wants to be rich because in real life cave the richer are consider superior, the same way in which prisoner who named a shadow was consider superior in allegory, and at the last stage of life person dies but the question, what human experience is it real or not? Remains unanswered. This has become an indispensable lesson that as it is difficult and risky to communicate the truth in the real life.

To sum up, in the Plato’s view, knowledge earned by the experience and senses is same as opinion and in order to obtain real knowledge we ought to use the philosophical reasoning.



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