Allegory of The Cave Reaction Paper
Plato argues that perceptions of material objects are imperfect reflections of an unchanging form of truth that can be pursued through the quest for knowledge and belief. He outlines the order in which the escaped prisoner would ascend in understanding; “At first it would be easiest to make out shadows, and then the images of men and things reflected in water, and later on the things themselves… last of all, he would be able to look at the sun and contemplate its nature… in its own domain.” Basically: the cave is our societal structure, we are the prisoners, the shadows are our limited understanding of reality, and the sun is the ultimate truth. Through this process that the escaped prisoner goes through to reach understanding of the outside world, Plato implies that the sun represents the ultimate truth that the escaped prisoner eventually reaches, corresponding with “the essential Form of Goodness”, suggesting that Goodness equates with the highest level of understanding. This defines for the readers that learning and knowledge is a slow progression that leads to the truth by demystifying the shadows of imperfect objects, classifying truth as the greatest enlightenment and righteousness available. Plato speaks of the escaped prisoner seeing the light for the first time,” he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him . . .” Plato acknowledges that finding Truth is not an easy process. It requires pain and struggle and confusion. But he argues that one must always take part in a process of seeking higher knowledge and attaining wisdom to reach a point of true understanding. This is hard on the Self to adjust to internal changes of perception, but it is even harder to face those who have not seen the light—those who have not encountered Truth. Plato says in the allegory that “Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes . . . ” meanings that once the escapee returns to his fellow cave...
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