The Myth of the Cave and a Rose for Emily
The stories “Myth of the Cave” by Plato’s and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner reveal how people are compelled to live their life in an illusion or a different way rather than to live in reality, thinking that’s how life is supposed to be, not knowing what life really looks like, they make this illusion seem real, at least to them. Even though the plots of the stories are different, they both share similar themes that can relate to each other, such as isolation. In the story “A Rose for Emily” the characters have similar settings in Plato’s Myth.
To begin with Plato’s Myth and a Rose for Emily both stories share the theme of isolation. In Plato’s Myth prisoners are attached with chains to their necks not allowing them to look sideward, only towards what is directly in front of them. Behind them there is a burning fire with people holding up puppets that cast shadows on the wall, making the prisoners believe that the shadows that they are seeing are real people rather than just shadows. What it really convinces the prisoners are the echoes and the sounds that fit the shadows. That is what truly makes them believe that the shadows are real people rather than just an illusion. The prisoners live isolated in the cave from the real world, being accustomed to the darkness already. If they would peek out the bright rays of the sun would without doubt harm the prisoners eyes, they would ever let loose. In “A Rose for Emily” her house plays a big role because when she was younger her father withheld her from suitors which are what made her get used to staying inside of her house. Even when her father died, she still stayed inside her house. She feels safe within those walls and believes her world inside that home is reality. Emily like the prisoners, also lives isolated from reality. Both stories share the theme of isolation or “the state of being separated from other people, or a situation in which you do not have the support of other people”. Characters in both stories are isolated from the outside, from reality.
Also in “A Rose for Emily” she has a servant name Tobe that goes in and out of the house. Tobe is the only one that knows what is going on inside the house but yet does not talk to anybody about it. When Emily dies, after the funeral, and after Emily is buried, the townspeople go upstairs to break into the room, they knew was closed for years. Inside, they found the body of “Homer Barron” a guy that the townspeople thought it was her partner, dead in the bed. After Emily died the townspeople find out the mystery inside the house. Just like in Plato’s Myth, Socrates released one of the prisoners; we can compare the free prisoner with Tobe in “A Rose for Emily”. When the prisoner goes out of the cave the light burned his eyes because he was used to the darkness in the cave. The prisoner, after he realized what was outside, finds out that everything he saw inside in the cave was an illusion. He finally realized what reality is. Comparing both stories they finally discover what was hidden. The prisoner discovered the real world outside of the cave, and the townspeople in “A Rose for Emily” discovered what was inside Emily’s house.
Furthermore the prisoner that was set free in Plato’s Myth decides to go back to the cave to tell the other prisoners that what they see in the cave is not real is just an illusion. That what was outside the cave is reality, but the prisoners don’t believe him and laugh at him. The prisoners weren’t interested of what it was outside of the cave. They also talk about killing the freed prisoner if he tries to set them free. In “A Rose for Emily”, even after her father’s dead, she still separates herself from the townspeople. She refuses to have a social life out of her house. With the only person that the townspeople saw her with was with Homer, which they believe it was her boyfriend. In both stories we see house both characters are scared to get out of their comfort zone because they are already dependent of one place. They feel secure being inside the same place.
In the “Myth of the Cave” by Plato and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner both stories shows similarities in their characters how they isolate themselves in their comfort zone because both of them relay in a place where they don’t go away from. For example in Plato’s Myth is the cave and in “A Rose for Emily” is the house where she spends her life. It also shows in Plato’s how one of the prisoners is set free and he discovers that what he sees in the cave was just an illusion. Like in “A Rose for Emily”, when she dies the townspeople finally discovers what was hidden in her house. In both stories the characters discover reality but some others refuse to know what reality is. Emily died without knowing the reality outside her house, and the prisoners refused to believe that there is something else outside the cave.