Plato the Cave

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The Cave

The allegory of the cave is a story of open mindedness and power of possibility made by Plato. Plato considers the allegory of the cave as an analogy of the human condition for our education or lack of it. So imagine prisoners who spent their entire lives chained deep inside a big cave. The prisoners were chained in a position where they cannot see the activity going on behind them and they are forced to stare endlessly at the cave wall in front of them. Directly behind them is a light source and between both the prisoners and light source is a walkway. Every day, just imagine that a plethora of objects walks through that passageway, people, animals etc. all shapes and sizes. Their shadows creates an image that was seen by the “blind” prisoners who were chained facing the wall. This was the only world the prisoners have ever known, the shadows, noises of the objects that wasn’t seen. Now just imagine one of the prisoners was released and was taken from the cave and left outside. From all the time spent in the cave, it took the prisoners some time adjusting to the sun light.

After adjusting to the blinding light, the freed prisoner started to experience the outside world for the very first time. With his new perception from experiencing his time outside the cave, he went back in to share his discoveries with his fellow prisoners. Just like before, the chained prisoners could not recognize their friends and he was just another weird object that was seen on the wall, and his voice was another echo that was heard with no sense to them. He had appeared as all things do to them and could not understand his discoveries outside the cave; to them it will never subsist. The chained prisoners will never experience the real world and only think the wired shaped objects and noises will be their world.

This story symbolizes a metaphor that is to direct contrast to the way we perceive and believe in what reality really is. According to Plato's allegory of...
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