comparison essay

Topics: Reality, The Prisoner, Mother Pages: 4 (1212 words) Published: December 8, 2014
22 April 2013
Dual Realities
Reality can be hard to face, be it is a new reality or a current ongoing reality being replayed. “Myth of the Cave” by Plato and “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities” by Delmore Schwartz both show reality being depicted as something that is not accepted by one.

Plato describes a situation where people are imprisoned in a cave and are forced to live in this reality in “Myth of the Cave.” “The men have been chained foot and neck since childhood” (Plato 175). They are only to look forward, “ The chains keep them in place and prevent them from turning their heads, so that they can only see forward” (Plato 175). Their reality is going to be the wall they are staring at and the sounds they hear. They cannot look behind them. The prisoners will see their shadows casted on the wall, created by the fire behind the low wall. They would believe that whenever a person passing by would speak, it was the shadowing speaking. These prisoners would see reality as shadows on a wall because that’s all they have ever seen. “Now if they could talk to each other, don’t you think they’d believe what they saw was reality?” “Necessarily” (Plato 175).

As Plato keeps describing the situation he states that what if the prisoners could speak or interact they could somehow break away from this fixated reality.
Now look: what if they could be freed from their bonds and cured of their unreason by some natural happening like this? One is released and suddenly forced to stand up, turn his head, walk and look up to the light of the fire; all this causes him pain and the glitter blinds him to the things whose shadows he formerly saw (Plato 176). If a prisoner were ever to break free from the reality which they have grown up in they wouldn’t be able to comprehend the new reality that they are exposed to. The prisoner wouldn’t believe it and would think that the only reality is the reality on that cave wall. “Don’t you think he’d be baffled and...
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