Being There by Jerzy Kosinski Essay

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In his novel Being There, Jerzy Kosinski shows how present day culture has strayed away from the ideal society that Plato describes in his allegory of the cave. In his metaphor, Plato describes the different stages of life and education through the use of a cave. In the first level of the cave, Plato describes prisoners who are shackled and facing a blank wall. Behind them is a wall of fire with a partition that various objects are placed and manipulated by another group of people. These shadows are the only action that they ever see. They can only talk to the surrounding prisoners, and watch the puppet show on the wall in front of them. Naturally, the prisoners come to believe that the shadows on the wall in front of them are…show more content…
He knows gardening, and knows it very well. He has his own room in the Old Man's house, and is not permitted to leave, or have any visitors. The only connection to the outside world is his TV that he watches constantly. He cannot read or write, and knows little about the world he lives in. Much like the prisoners in the cave, he is a prisoner in the house, only gaining knowledge from the shadows that moved within his TV. His lack of social skills becomes much more apparent once he leaves the house for the first time. He has no intended destination, and wanders the streets. Once he is hurt by the limousine, he is given an injection to ease his pain. As the doctor fills the needle, he wants to show fear, not because he has had this experience before, but because "he visualized all the TV incidents in which he had seen injections being given" (Kosinski 33). Just like the prisoners in the cave, he was trying to understand a reality based on pictures in order to react to the world around him. One thing that he has never experienced is any type of a sex life. He found himself in a room with EE, where she made a sexual advance towards him. He thought back to a situation on TV where he could imitate an actor in a similar scene. He remembers a close embrace and kissing, but unfortunately
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