Plato's Allegory of the Cave and The Matrix comparison for AP Composition. Describes how the two parallel each other and in small ways contrast.

Topics: The Matrix, Simulated reality, Virtual reality Pages: 4 (1629 words) Published: February 22, 2004
In "Allegory of the Cave" Plato describes a cave in which people are born and are deceived by puppeteers who cast shadows using fires above and behind those in the cave. They are chained down so they cannot move nor turn their heads towards the exit of the cave where a true reality exists. To them, this is the true reality. They know of no other and will not accept it unless they were forced to meet it. The 1999 film titled The Matrix is very similar to Plato's cave. Billions upon billions of people unknowingly live out their lives in a virtual reality. They too would find it difficult to accept any other reality. Consequently, both stories parallel each other in attempt to make the audience question their senses and reality.

Those who exist in Plato's cave are prisoners. They are born prisoners and they die as prisoners. However, they are entertained and occupied by shadows of objects cast by the puppeteers. This is a poor conception of the true reality, but the prisoners accept it and depend on it. The puppeteers are human, but it is unclear why they want to deceive or even keep the prisoners. One idea suggests that, metaphorically speaking is "They are us," explains Socrates, meaning that the reason why the prisoners do not realize that they are held captive is because they are their own prisoners. Still, each hears and recognizes sounds and shapes of shadows. They believe that the two dimensional world they perceive is the whole reality, but they do not know that shadows have a source and the sounds they gear are not created by the shadows, but instead by the puppeteers behind them. To compare, how does the real world today know that a chair is a chair or the smell of food is supposed to be that smell? How does one know whether they are being deceived or not? If another reality exists, how could one escape their current reality to realize an alternate truth? This is what Plato wanted his audience to question.

The Matrix wants the same goal from its...
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