Analyzing Plato's The Allegory Of The Cave

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In Plato’s selection, “The Allegory of the Cave,” the narrator, Socrates, is having a one-sided conversation with Plato’s brother, Glaucon. Socrates has him imagine a world where prisoners are trapped in a cave, unable to move, only being able to see the shadows cast by the fire of the objects those behind them are carrying—as compared to a marionette. The prisoners believe that the sounds coming from the people are actually coming from the shadows themselves because they don’t know any better. Next, Socrates has Glaucon imagine that one prisoner is released and is able to venture out into the light-filled upper world. It causes him much distress, and the reality in which he once knew becomes difficult to see. He gets used to the upper world…show more content…
Plato suggests that once you have the knowledge, you must get back to a lower level in order to teach those who do not. This reminded me of a project I did last year in my speech class. My group was responsible for teaching third graders what we see as basic skills—manners, conflict resolution, and public speaking. In order to communicate these ideas to them, we had to think back to a time when we were in their position and just learning them. This was a difficult task for us because we had grown so accustomed to using these skills in our everyday lives. The once-freed man had a tough time going back into the cave because he had gotten used to life in the upper world; it was hard for him to imagine life before he left the cave. Plato also mentioned that the prisoners thought the upper world was a dangerous place after the man returned because he was blind from his eyes adjusting again. Perhaps people are afraid of continuing their intellectual pursuit because they have seen others struggle from it. The journey is the hardest part, as it was for the man, but the experiences that come after it make it worth the pain and hardships. As Plato suggests, intellectuals laughing at ignorance is preferred over being laughed at as an intellectual by the

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