The Plato Show
Imagine waking up as one of the inhabitants in a dark, desolate cave. Your hands and feet are chained and your head is in a fixed, upright position towards a wall. The only illumination your eyes can perceive is the gleaming of distant flames. Shadows appear randomly on this wall you are forced to look at and as a prisoner you assume these silhouette are reality. Inhabitants compare and predict when these shadows would appear again and honors are giving out to the most knowledgeable. Little do the inhabitants know, these objects aren’t actually “real” they are illusions created for the outside world. Inhabitants were born into this scenario, how could you compare what was real and what was not?
Now, imagine a stranger entering the cave, your “home”, and removing your shackles and showing you the light, the truth. You are blinded with confusion and are hesitant to go back into the cave to tell you fellow inhabitants what you have seen. You fear you will be rejected and they will deny you.
Plato’s allegory poses to question the metaphysical world and how we are slaves to our senses, when we project what is reality. I thought about this allegory for a while and first thing it reminded me of was Jim Carrey. Also known as Truman Burbank from the 1998 hit move “ The Truman Show”. Every element of this allegory is represented in this film. Truman Burbank is the star of one of the most popular shows in television history. But he doesn’t know he is the star, he doesn’t even know he is on TV! Through out the film, he is shown with his perfect wife and job, his friends and “memories of his fathers”. These are actually artificial implementations, like the silhouettes, created for entertainment of the outside world and they are perceived as his life. As the story progresses, Truman questions the repetitious and mysterious mannerisms of the people in his life. Very much how the inhabitant of the cave sees the light for the first time,...