Allegory of the Cave Essay
Plato explains people curved on the walls of a cave as being as imprisoned and chained in all of their lives. While facing the blank walls, they watch illumination of shadows objects passing near the fire and Plato begins to give meanings to these shadows. The shadows represent prisoners who are viewing what the reality represents. He further explains that the shadow represent the philosophers who even though they are freed from the cave, they come to terms that the shadows do not provide a clear presentation of what the reality is made. Plato explains that he can understand the true form of the reality and not the plain shadows of the shadows watched by the prisoners (Plato, 2010).Socrates further explains that the after the prisoners are freed from the cave, they perceive that the real world is usually superior to the world they are living while they are inside the caves. However, when they return to prison after they have been used to the light from the sun, they become blind again. According to Socrates, taking a man’s blindness by removing him out of the cave can harm him as he tries to get used to the cave and, a similar effect follows on his way back to the cave. Socrates concludes that the prisoners, if possible, can reach out and kill anyone who attempts to make them leave the cave. The allegory of the cave is a reflection of what we perceive as living in reality, but we discover the truth that we are never free. Instead, we would rather continue living in our prisons and shun away anyone who tries to free us by enlightening us. Therefore, we can accept that no matter how much we try to be free, we will always be victims of our own inadequacies, living in prisons of our own creations (Bradbury, 2009).
The Allegory of the Cave has had an impact in one of my life experience. I was among the brightest student ad I had started becoming overconfident about my good grades in school and thought that I was wise and smarter than any other student. I challenged most of my colleagues to the duel; be it in class, discussion or argumentative talks. I grew feeling that it would be a shame to be proven wrong and that the knowledge I had was ultimate. However, I attended a science congress where I was challenged by the big brains. In addition, my older brother, who was a Christian,used to give me tips of wisdom and how a bragging person goes down the fall. I was living like the prisoners on the walls, and the shadows of people who were wiser than me made me very uncomfortable. After losing in the science competition, I broke the chains of imprisonment and humbled myself to learn more. I realized that there was some light that my wise brother had been trying to illuminate in my life other than being a learned friend. I realized that getting high grades in schools did not matter as much as being able to live freely with anyone around me regardless of their low performances in schools. I realized that they might not be smart in classes, but they were wise in life issues.
However, I was resistant to change my mindset and I had first spent time a lone trying to figure things out but my attempts were in vain. I had to deal with the shame I had caused to my friends by insulting them. I have used Plato’s philosophy to counsel my friend so that he could stop smoking cigarettes and succeeded, as well as helping my cousin to look for a higher paying job other than the one that he had worked for about five years.
Besides how the Allegory of the Cave has helped me in my life, I realize that it will apply to me when I will be advancing in my career growth such as being able to change jobs until I get the job that fulfills my desires. In addition, I find Plato’s work will also help when trying to understand religions of different people. However, I realize that even though people are freed from their caves, they still find they are in another prison dealing with new problems that keep them chained to their new caves (Hill, 2006).
Bradbury, R. (2009). Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury, new edition. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing
Hill, R. (2006). How the real world is driving us crazy. Gordon: Richard Hill
Plato. (2010). The allegory of the cave. New York, NY: P & L Publication