Allegory and Truman Show

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Allegory and Truman Show

The Allegory of the Cave has many parallels with The Truman Show. Initially, Truman is trapped in his own “cave”; a film set or fictional island known as Seahaven. Truman’s journey or ascension into the real world and into knowledge is similar to that of Plato’s cave dweller. In this paper, I will discuss these similarities along with the very intent of both of these works whose purpose is for us to question our own reality.

In his Allegory Plato shows us how a man ascends from the darkness of a cave to the light of the outside world. In this ascent Plato’s man passes through four distinct stages of cognition: from imagination, to belief, understanding, and finally knowledge.

Imagination

In this
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However, his reality is now based on these objects vs. what is truly real. In Truman’s second phase he starts to believe that something is wrong with his world based also on his perception and his common sense. First, his father Kirk who had been written out of the show years earlier sneaks back onto the set. This sends Truman into a teenage flashback of his last moments with Lauren a girlfriend that had tried to tell him the truth before she was written off to Fiji. He also notices that the radio is following him around and people all around him are acting very strange. At this point he does not know what is wrong but he knows he is onto “something big” as he tells his “best friend” Marlon.

Understanding

Some might disagree at precisely which point Truman “sees the light” and begins to understand what is really happening. Like with Plato’s cave dweller the process of understanding is a slow one. “He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves…” In the same way Truman’s accent into understanding was a slow process. The scene where he notices that his wife is crossing her fingers in one of their wedding pictures is that crucial moment. From that point on we get the feeling that he has gone from assuming there was something wrong to
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