Phil 404 Journals

Essay by suckulantpeach January 2005

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The Allegory of the Cave is a story about a group of humans who were living in the bottom of an underground cave. The humans were restricted in every way that they were chained to prevent them from looking towards the top of the cave where the exit and a fire was found. The fire by the exit made it possible for creatures and animals to cast a shadow on the back wall that the humans face upon passing it. The shadows on the wall represent the illusions that people face in their everyday lives. Often people are deprived of the truth and are hidden from it by illusions that they believe are true. When the man was freed from his chains and shackles he was afraid of the leaving the comfort of the cave and the shadows which were the only truth known to him. He was also afraid what is beneath the exit of the cave and the possible horrors that might be awaiting him.

Like in real life, he was afraid of the knowledge that he can potentially gain and was afraid of failure. As the man descends into the outside world, he slowly adapts and learns that he has been misled all his life by thinking that the shadows are his reality. He learned about new things and found out the true source of the shadows. As he gains knowledge he then feels sympathy to all his fellow men in the cave who are blinded from the truth by the illusions which were are the shadows. He feels superior even to the wisest human in the cave. Just as he enjoys all the new knowledge that he has gained and the benefits they offer, the man is then put back in the cave where he is...