Reflection of Plato “Allegory of the Cave” in Today’s Society
“Allegory of the Cave” is a dialog between Socrates and Gloucon in “The Republic” written by Plato. The image of the cave is a universal picture of the human conditions that applies to everyone. It questions the justice created by the society and human nature. The idea conveyed through the dialogue thousands of years ago is so general that examples could be found in today’s society as well.
In the beginning Socrates draws the mental image of the cave to his student. The cave is long and dark, but at the opening to the cave you can see some light coming in. In the cave there are humans chained as prisoners facing the wall and who are allowed to turn their heads and look around. They watch the shadows on the wall presented by the puppeteers behind the wall that stands between the burning fire and prisoners. The chained prisoners are happy because they had been fed by the shadows since birth. They have never been outside the cave and they don’t have the desire to go there. However, one prisoner with the help of a wise man like the philosopher liberates himself from the dark cave, sees the puppeteers producing images, and realizes that the shadows in the cave are not real. He also sees the sun which represents the ultimate meaning of life. Since the prisoner must return to the cave after his journey, the truth which he had unveiled is going to change his life.
According to the Socrates image of the cave, all humans born in the society are prisoners who are chained by the society’s rules and regulations that everyone must follow. All puppeteers, on the other hand, are leaders of the society or government that creates those rules and regulations to keep the prisoners happy in the society. Their job is to produce images to the prisoners and keep them happy. As an example of the image of the cave in our society I would like to analyze fast food restaurant chains across America, and an increase in the...