In Plato's "The Allegory of the Cave," Socrates tells an allegory of the hardship of understanding reality. Using metaphors Socrates compares a prisoner in an underground cave who is exploring a new strange world he never knew of to people who are trying to find a position of knowledge in reality. Through it, Plato attempts to map a man's journey through education and describes what is needed to achieve a perfect society. According to Socrates, most people tend to rely on their senses excessively and accept the world as it is appears to them in their vision as truth. So that we can liberate our souls from this mental prison, Socrates suggests that we should go through a stage that prepares ourselves for the real world and at the same time preventing us from heading to the wrong direction in seeking the truth. According to Socrates the only way to achieve this would be through education. To accomplish this Plato presents the reader with two different elements of the story. First the fictional metaphor of the prisoners within the cave and second the philosophical principles in which the allegory is supposed to symbolize.
The captive prisoners are bound within a cave that is completely darkened inside. A small fire casting the “shadow of the spectacle” on the wall of the cave is the only reality that the prisoners know. Because the prisoners are bound and can see nothing else but the shadows, that then is their reality. The cave dwellers are using the light of the fire to control what the captives see and believe as reality. It is only when a captive has knowledge of what true reality is that they can free themselves from captivity.
When a captive frees themselves from the cave and sees what was creating the shadows on the wall, the new images in front of him become his new reality. When the prisoner sees the light of the sun shining through the cave opening he climbs through to investigate. Now fully immersed in the suns rays the former captive experiences...
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