Imagine observing someone who is shackled with absolutely nowhere to go. Their head and body are both in restraints with only a dreary wall to look at. Sadly, they can’t even turn around to see what’s causing them the distress. What can they do? Do they sit and create their own misconceptions, or do they stand up and seek out questions? This scenario may be difficult to fully grasp. However, this is what Plato was trying to explain to the reader in his book The Republic. He tries to present his explanation by way of the Allegory of the Cave. In this analysis, I will argue that the concept of self-delusion is the central concept in Plato’s illustration. I will discuss how this concept influenced George Orwell’s 1984, and how the characters’ misconceptions from the two texts help exert an influence on the real world today.
“And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: Behold! human beings living in a underground den...here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads” (The Republic). It can be interpreted from the beginning lines of the allegory that there are people being held as prisoners. However, it was initially unclear what the symbolism of being in bondage meant. In the text, Socrates illustrates the point that people are only as wise as their experiences take them. One has