Synthesis of Truman Show and Plato's Allegory of the Cave

Topics: Reality, The Truman Show, Jim Carrey Pages: 4 (1425 words) Published: May 15, 2006
Critical Analysis of "The Truman Show" and Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" When "The Truman Show" was released in 1998, it was just another popular Hollywood flick, but its story is closely related to Plato's "Allegory of the Cave." The plot line for the movie follows this classic tale in many ways, some more obvious then others. As with most cinematic treachery, the movie's similarities are no coincidence. The writers drew from Plato's classic because it is such a universal story and is something that everyone can relate to in some way. When the film was released, the general viewing public didn't attend the theater with the intent to analyze and critique the film in relation to an ancient, revered, and highly intellectual tale. Rather, they attended in order to gain a laugh or two from Jim Carey's psychotic antics; but, many of the ancient and universal thoughts and ideals can be skimmed from this Hollywood piece. In Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," the ideas that present themselves in "The Truman show" are described in detail. The idea that we are all interpreting a shadow as reality, and that when we see reality for the first time we don't believe it to be true. And the fact that after we have seen reality, the shadows, that we used to believe in, don't satisfy us anymore. In Plato's story there are men who are chained to a cave wall with not the slightest ability to look but straight forward at a wall of stone. There is no light, except for the grimy shadows on the wall from the manipulative "puppeteers" that control the shadows and cause them to dance and perform, all of which is perceived by the prisoners as reality. "...their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them...." (Jacobus 446) Because these captive men have never known anything but the sight of these shadows on the wall, they perceive this as reality. If they were to perceive the real world, they would at first be utterly confused and wouldn't accept it, they...

Cited: Jacobus, Lee A., ed. A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2006.
Plato. "Allegory of The Cave." Jacobus. 443-453.
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