The Allegory of the Cave is one of numerous brilliant and multifaceted stories in Plato’s book entitled “The Republic.” The narrative is a story regarding the hidden truth of the outside world. The narrative takes place underground in a cave where prisoners are compelled to watch a show that they suppose is what life consists of. Thus, there is a glowing fire set back behind them and a wall where puppets are shown in order to cast images on the wall in the face of the prisoners. Their heads are, therefore, chained so that the only thing they are capable of seeing is what is being projected on the wall. The narrative is a fictional discourse between Socrates, as well as Glaucon. Consequently, the story unfurls the task of individual knowledge, and as it unfolds, it begins to influence the message passed. Plato took the freedom to separate his story into different phases as the captive commences to come to the understanding, which the prisoner has been living and delusioning all along. Consequently, as illusion turns into an understanding, one becomes recognizable with the understanding Plato meant for one to understand the significance of education. Thus, Plato had the allegation that man was born ill-mannered yet had the capability to accomplish his own personal knowledge (Plato, 2010).
Furthermore, Socrates starts to set up a situation whereby there are people who have been living in a cave from the time they were born. So the captives are “chained in order that they cannot move” and only gifted to outlook a low wall that was places in front of them. Therefore, this means fire is their only source of light and with that they are capable to see their shadows. This implies that this part of the narrative, the prisoners are ignorant that there is much to provide in the world than the fire as well as their shadows. This means that they are ignorant yet ignorant of this since to them it was normal to only spot such hardly any things. Thus, this cave was the hardly something they were conscious of and this banned them from fashioning individual knowledge as well as fully becoming open-minded. The cave symbolized a hurdle that the captives were not capable to cross. This was therefore what they were used to and they did not have the knowledge to understand the right way to live as compared to the wrong way. This greatly implies that feeling of change is incredible they had yet to face. In the story, Plato described representatively the dilemma in which mankind finds itself and proposes a way of salvation. The Allegory presents, in short form, most of Plato's main philosophical assumptions: his belief that the world revealed by our senses is not the actual world but only a unfortunate copy of it, and that the actual world can only be apprehended rationally; his thought that knowledge cannot be transferred from teacher to student, however rather that education comprises in directing student's minds toward what is actual and vital and allowing them to apprehend it for themselves; his faith that the world at last is good; his certainty that enlightened individuals have an responsibility to the rest of society, and that a good society must be one in which the truthfully wise (the Philosopher-King) are the rulers (Plato, 2010).
Furthermore, we live in a society where we are told what to eat, drink, and think. Living in such a ritualized everyday life may often leave us blind. Nevertheless, we do not even understand it. The "Allegory of the Cave," by Plato, is more than just a story; it's a tool that can be applied to our life in almost any situation. For instance, looking into this story, I realize how much it is related and connected to religion. It is so easy to now do what everybody else is doing just to feel accepted. Plato's narrative not only opened up my viewpoint on life, however, was an interpretation of the allegory of the cave–being saved spiritually (Plato & Lee, 2003).
Furthermore, Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave,” the author excels in letting the audience visualize persons living in a big cave, whereby these populaces were chained by the leg as well as neck and they could not move. This implies that the prisoners only see what is in front of them. The author describes to us how the story is the education of the soul toward illumination (Plato & Lee, 2003).
The thought of Plato’s essay describes how most persons are trapped in their own world, ignorant of what is happening around them. Therefore, then comes the ascending man and he is the only one who succeeded to surface from the cave, which accommodates the common man. Thus, once the man surfaces, he then comprehends the forms and becomes completely educated. The ascending man acknowledges that the “fire” may give one an indistinguishable thought of what realism really is; nevertheless, until one surface, the only thing one perceives is shadows (Kreis, 2000).
Furthermore, in the “Learning to Read and Write,” Douglass applies different methods to get us to comprehend how much he went through in order for him to learn how to read as well as write. After being born a slave, he would not go to school, as it was unlawful for slaves to get education back in the 1800. He demonstrated how learning to read subjected him to understanding more regarding the situation he is in. He says he frequently finds himself regretting his own existence, and wishing him dead; and however for the hope of being free, he had no doubt; however, that he must have killed herself, or done something for which he should have been killed. Thus, at the time Douglass was writing, many people assumed that slavery was a natural state of being. They supposed that blacks were born only to serve the whites, and they were unable of participating in civil society and consequently must be kept as employees in their entire lives (Kreis, 2000).
Therefore, founded on Douglass’ experience, he may see that Plato’s allegory has an experience, which he went through whilst he was a slave; he was at some point in chains literally and metaphorically, those chains that got him to push for more and do what no slave at the time dared to do. This means that Douglass may be compared to the ascending man in Plato’s allegory, since he defied all the rules, and put his life in danger just to learn how to read as well as write and educate himself since he understood that education is the bulb that lightens the path ahead.
Kreis, S. (2000) .The history Guide: Plato, The Allegory of the Cave. Retrieved from http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/allegory.html.
Plato, . (2010). The allegory of the cave. Brea, CA: P & L Publication.
Plato, ., & Lee, H. D. P. (2003). The Republic. London: Penguin Books.