The analogy of the cave is Plato’s way of explaining his thoughts on forms. The analogy of the cave is found in Plato’s book called the Republic (Heidegger & Sadler, 2002). Plato presents his analogy by giving an illustration of prisoners in a cave. The focus of this essay is to discuss Plato’s cave analogy. The most interesting thing in the cave analogy is that some people in the community always work hard to become enlightened because through it, they get to understand the reality in life.
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People grow tired of living in a continuous state of lack of truth, and they begin thirsting for it. The time that a determined person takes to remain in a state of lack of knowledge, and truth is always limited. At one point in life that person gets to discover the truth, and when this happens he can no longer be patient enough to remain in the dark. He is always tempted to embrace the change that comes with that knowledge of the truth. For example, my mother remained in her abusive marriage for long because she was not aware of her rights. When she got tired of the situation she started desiring to get her freedom. This desire led her to the knowledge of the truth about her right not to be abused (Heidegger & Sadler, 2002). However, there are cases where people always remain comfortable with their lack of knowledge, and do nothing to show that they are weary. The prisoners in the cave for example, refused to hear anything about the reality outside the cave, and got angry with the prisoner that had seen the reality (Heidegger & Sadler, 2002).
Plato shows that a person can run away from prison to see the reality. In his analogy of the cave, Plato shows that it is possible for a person to escape prison in order to have a taste of the reality. Of the prisoners in the cave there was found one who was impatient, and tired of being a prisoner. Getting out of prison entails a struggle, and the person involved must use much effort to get to freedom (Heidegger & Sadler, 2002). The prisoner that escaped from prison was determined to see the reality, and this determination gave him encouragement to cut off his chains. The struggle was mental and physical as well because the prisoner had never been outside the cave. He had to imagine beyond the shadows he had seen, and use a lot of physical strength to break the chains (Heidegger & Sadler, 2002). Plato shows us that the reality can be very appealing to those who are imaginative, and are eager to know the truth. Those who are not willing to know the truth may have no desire to struggle for anything better. In the analogy of the cave the prisoner is not bothered by the fact that his fellow prisoners are not supporting him. He breaks the chains by himself, and leaves the others behind. This is evidence of strong will, and purpose to rise above prevailing circumstances.
People can risk their lives to get the truth because it brings change to them, and to others. Truth comes with change of situations, and circumstances. It even makes life better for those that get it. The man who got out of the cave knew nothing about the outside world. He did not know what he was going to meet, and therefore he was only taking a risk. People do make risky moves in order to get understanding, and change their lives (Heidegger & Sadler, 2002). For example, when my parents refused to pay my school fees because of reasons best known to them, I was forced to look for advice from a lawyer, and take them to court. The lawyer gave me vey truthful information about my right to education, and parental support. I made a risky move because I still depended on them for my supplies, and their being jailed would spell doom for me.
However, sometimes it turns out that the risk taken is not worthy the reward. For example, in my case the money, and time my we spend was too much compared to the benefit I got from the ruling of the court. However, this example shows that it is always worthy to strive and take risks because even though people can incur losses, other people may benefit greatly from their struggles, and risks taken.
It is therefore clear from this essay that the thesis that some people struggle hard to get the truth is true. This means that people should never be satisfied with their circumstances because when they fight for the truth they get better things in return. This is the reason why some people excel in various aspects of their lives such as marriage, and career life because they put in determination, and get the reward for their labor.
Heidegger, M., Sadler, T. (2002). The Essence of Truth on Plato’s Cave Allegory and Theaetetus. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.