Allegory of the Cave and Learning to Read and Write

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Bryan Prado English 101 Professor Derusha A Truth Unseen by Many In a Japanese manga series called Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto, a character named Itachi is identified as a criminal, but is actually a peaceful man. Secretly, Itachi is ordered to destroy everyone in his village, except for someone he values, his young brother, Sasuke. Itachi threatens to reveal all secrets to other villages if Sasuke is harmed. In the end, he manipulates his brother into hating him and wants Sasuke to become strong so one day he can kill Itachi, becoming a hero. This shows the truth can become manipulated or clouded; what we see may not, in fact, be the truth. Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and Frederick Douglass’s “Learning to Read and Write” both describe how people’s reality is based solely on what they see, and may be wrong. Socrates describes how prisoners in a cave know only the cave, not the world beyond the cave, and the society in which Douglass lives justifies slavery, a terrible institution. Socrates’ argument about the struggle to attain the truth and the benefits of doing so are illustrated in Douglass’ experiences. In Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” Socrates describes prisoners trapped inside a cave. The prisoners have their necks and legs chained so they cannot move or even turn their heads. The fire which provides a source of light allows these prisoners to see shadows on a wall in front of them. Socrates describes the wall as a “screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets” (Plato 479). Objects that move along create the shadows on the wall, but none of these objects can be seen by the prisoners. Therefore, for the prisoners, the shadows on the wall are reality since they know of no other world. This symbolizes that society is sometimes influenced by a false reality. Socrates then describes how one prisoner manages to

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