Comparing 'The Cathedral' and Plato's Allegory of the Cave

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“The Cathedral” and “The Allegory of the Cave” are two short stories that resemble each other in the need to break free from negative illusions. In the “Allegory of the Cave,” Plato describes a man named Socrates who describes an illusion. This illusion included prisoners in a cave who have been chained by their arms and legs. These prisoners are bound to the floor and unable to turn their heads to see what goes on behind them. The prisoners are only able to see what the puppeteers are casting on the wall, which they perceive as reality. However, one of the prisoners escaped the cave of darkness into the light of the new world and realized that the truth is beyond the chains. The Cathedra compares to this illusion by the sick marriage between a husband and a wife. The husband’s anger and resentment are his chains when compared to the “Allegory of the Cave.” This marriage struggled until the presence of a blind man, Robert, visited their home. Robert helped the husband see a different perspective of life and what reality really is. Robert portrays the role of Plato’s freed slave who returns to spread the enlightenment. Robert is an old friend of the husband’s wife. The woman had worked for Robert years ago, she had read to him, and organized his office. After the woman had married and moved away she communicated with Robert through tapes. The wife thought it would be a perfect time to visit with an old friend since his wife, Beulah, had passed away. After discussing Robert coming to their home, the husband thought to himself, “what a pitiful life this woman must have led. Imagine a woman who could never see herself as she was seen in the eyes of her loved one. A woman who could go on day after day and never receives the smallest compliment from her beloved (The Cathedral).” This shows that the husband had misunderstood what’s really

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