The Void of Learning Explained in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

Decent Essays

After reading Plato’s Allegory of the Cave I began to wonder whether or not others have encountered an experience similar to what Socrates described here. In the cave Plato conjures up the theory that humans and the prisoners in a cave have similar characteristics. One of the characteristics is that we are close-minded people until someone or something comes along to prove that our ideas are incorrect in some way, shape, or form. As humans we have an interesting way in which we learn things and this is exhibited throughout the Allegory of the Cave. In the cave Socrates envisioned three prisoners that had been there since birth. Chains bound the prisoners by their legs and necks and all they knew of the world was the shadows that danced along the cave’s wall in front of them. The only light in the cave is from a fire that is a great distance behind them and elevated. Between them and the fire lies a road that has a wall built in front of it in sections. Behind the wall people carry a variety of artifacts, which stretch above the wall and cast forth shadows against the cave wall in front of the prisoners (Solomon). The prisoners are chained so that they cannot turn around and see what is behind them and therefore can only depict what they see from the shadows, which may be skewed from the way the light casts them on the wall. Behind the prisoners is another wall that obscures the shadows of the people carrying the artifacts so that the only thing being cast along

Get Access