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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Allegory Of The Cave - 413 words
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A report I had to do on Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Platowas born 427 B.C. and died 347 B.C. He was a pupilunder Socrates. During his studies, Plato wrote theDialogues, which are a collection of Socrates' teachings.One of the parables included in the Dialogues is 'TheAllegory of the Cave'.
'The Allegory..' symbolizes man'sstruggle to reach understanding and enlightenment. First ofall, Plato believed that one can only learn through dialecticreasoning and open-mindedness. Humans had to travel fromthe visible realm of image-making and objects of sense tothe intelligible or invisible realm of reasoning andunderstanding. 'The Allegory of the Cave' symbolizes thistrek and how it would look to those still in a lower realm.Plato is saying that humans are all prisoners and that thetangible world is our cave. The things which we perceive asreal are actually just shadows on a wall. Just as the escapedprisoner ascends into the light of the sun, we amassknowledge and ascend into the light of true reality: ideas inthe mind
Yet, if someone goes into the light of the sun andbeholds true reality and then proceeds to tell the othercaptives of the truth, they laugh at and ridicule theenlightened one, for the only reality they have ever known isa fuzzy shadow on a wall. They could not possiblycomprehend another dimension without beholdin! g itthemselves, therefore, they label the enlightened man mad.For instance, the exact thing happened to Charles Darwin.In 1837, Darwin was traveling aboard the H.M.S. Beagle inthe Eastern Pacific and dropped anchor on the GalapagosIslands. Darwin found a wide array of animals. Thesedifferences in animals sparked Darwin on research, whichlasted well up to his death, culminating in the publishing ofThe Origin of Species in 1858. He stated that had not justappeared out of thin air, but had evolved from other speciesthrough natural selection.
This sparked a firestorm ofcriticism, for most people accepted the theory of theCreation. In this way Darwin and his scientific followersparallel the escaped prisoner. They walked into the light andsaw true reality. Yet when he told the imprisoned publicwhat he saw, he was scoffed at and labeled mad, for all theprisoners know and perceive are just shadows on a wallwhich are just gross distortions of reality. Darwin walked thepath to understanding just like the escaped prisoner in 'TheAllegory of the Cave.' Plato's parable greatly symbolizesman's struggle to reach the light and the suffering of those leftbehind who are forced to sit in the dark and stare atshadows on a wall.
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