Plato - Allegory of the cave
In Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”, prisoners have been chained up in a dark cave for most of their lives and can only look at a wall without any access to the outside world. Behind them is a roadway used by travelers and behind that is a fire that casts shadows on the wall the prisoners look at. They know nothing else in life except these shadows. In the allegory, one of the prisoners is released and he is blinded by the light outside the cave. As his vision slowly clears however, he explores the new world and he is able to see the truth, the very thing he knew wasn’t true. When the prisoner ran back to the cave to tell the other prisoners, they didn’t believe him.
This allegory is a symbol for the contrasts between ideas and what we perceive as reality. For example, Plato would argue that ideas transcend the physical world. ...view middle of the document...
We see that ideas are eternal and perfect, even though the physical world crumbles.
I personally feel the allegory is relevant to our society today. It is seen in politics where politicians create this atmosphere so we hear what we want to hear, not necessarily the truth in the government. Politicians and congressmen feed us a hand full of information that makes us believe what they are saying and this sort of manipulates us into thinking they are telling us the truth every time. In reality however, they could be very hypocritical wanting to win only for themselves and not for the good of the people. Compared to the allegory, we are basically the prisoners chained to a wall of ideas that politicians are doing their job correctly to help us as the people. We see us being trapped in a cave also with “The American Dream”. Not everyone American live the American Dream. But then again what is the American Dream? It’s a dream that Americans want to live. Something that can be reality but is not. Not only are we tied down into political beliefs but also the in the media. The media has created a false view on how people act or portray themselves. They advertise on how people should be just in general such as in dressing, body image, and in behavior. Many people watch this type of media tear down certain people into making themselves believe that they are like these celebrities or try to be like them, when in reality they are not. Media targets adolescents most of the time, in advertising and in magazines to make things look “cool”, when in reality it’s just business. They play mind tricks with our brain that is still slowly developing, into thinking that we can do what they say. But what they say or advertise is a false view on our society. This cave in the Allegory of the Cave, is still here in today’s society, and it will probably never go away. It is all we know about our own society and government. Making it our own, “reality,” we live in.