All over the world, people have their own lives to live. They have all kinds of freedoms. We, as people, should understand that we’re all human beings and have our own beliefs and ways of life that are totally different from each other. The philosopher Plato tries to explain this in his essay. Plato uses conversation to write this essay. He explains two different kinds of people in this world. “The Allegory of the Cave” explains about shadows and how people live their lives in the cave.
According to Plato, all people begin in an underground cave. In the underground cave, there is a light that shines all the way to the end of the cave. Since they were children, they have been enchained so as not to move at all, and forced to only look forward. In the cave, above and behind the people there is a fire burning at a distance. A heightened path with a low wall separates the people from the flames. The wall resembles a stringed puppet entertainer’s screen which the people face (Plato 446).
Now observe what will happen if the prisoners are unrestrained. In the beginning, the people will feel bound rapidly to get up and move around and peer in the direction of light. But in turn the chains that bound them will create great soreness. The shock of being let go from their cage will blur all pervious conceptions they once had of normalcy. Then try to imagine telling them that all their privious comprehensions they were false impressions, and from then forth everything they see is the truth. Mentally, this would cause unbearable distress to the mind and they will be confused and very puzzled. Now many people will miss the cave and not believe what is actuality (447).
In today’s generation, most people have adapted to shadows. For example, in Alaska the sky has six months of brightness and six months of darkness. So people who live in Alaska are acclimated to surviving their lives in brightness and darkness. When they have clear bright skies they also can see some shadows, and they also live their lives the same way as other people live in the world.
Today we have television, media, social influences, government leaders, religion, and culture trying to transform us into who they think we should be. Moreover, most people are going to high schools and colleges to get better education. They also learn about different cultures, religions, and diverse societies. College’s degrees give better jobs and make people improved career. With these tools we are able to make our own choices on whether or not we want to live in the dark or in the light.
All people like to spend their lives in different ways. Some people like it in the light and do not want to go back in the cave. Some want to survive the rest of their life in darkness. Likewise, some people want to go back to cave because they have been in the cave from their childhood, so they want to go back to darkness.
Now, it is the year of 2009 and people are living their lives in many different ways. We have jobs, school, and clubs that we can choose to be involved with. In the societies we live in today we are still born in a cave, bound and chained. But in today’s world with all the technological advancements and liberal freedoms, we are given the chance to develop our lives not chained to social and religious conformity.
Plato. “The Allegory of the Cave.” A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers. 7th ed. Lee A. Jacobus. Bedford, 2006. 443-55.