The Allegory of the Cave Critical Analysis

The Allegory of the Cave Critical Analysis
In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato implies that knowledge can be achieved if one is
willing to step out of the usual and seek the true meaning of things regardless of what others
might think of you in the process. After being trapped in the cave all his, cave man is finally
driven out of the cave into the real world. When he first comes out, his eyes are harmed by the
bright light released by the sun. It makes it almost impossible for him to see but after a while his
eyes adjust. Then he finally has the chance to see what a real beauty the world is. His first
reaction is of confusedness because every object looks strange to him. When he is explained
what each object is he refuses to accept it because all his life everything he has learned and
known was in a form of a shadow. Once the cave man realizes that everything he thought was
real is gone and that he has been lied to since birth the first thing he wants to do is tell everyone
back at the cave that life is not what they think it is. The people in the cave don’t believe the cave
man and try to convince him that the shadows are the truth but he has gotten so accustomed to
the truth that is no longer possible for him to believe the shadows.
A metaphor that is presented throughout the story is the cave which represents the human
mind. In the story, the people in cave are enclosed in a world where shadows are the meaning of
everything and there is no other explanation behind things. It takes a man to get out of the cave
for him to realize that he has been taught the wrong things and that the truth was being kept
behind shadows. When people open their minds to new things, their perspective changes and
instead of believing everything said by other people they start to rationalize their thoughts and
question explanations. Connotation can also be applied to cave. In this case the cave symbolizes
our naïve mind and our disclosure to the real world. We are so stubborn to only believe what we
think is true that we don’t accept others’ opinion.
Another metaphor in the Allegory of the Cave is that of the sun. The sun allows you to
see the truth instead of just believing that the shadows inside the cave are the only real things in
the world. In reality, the sun helps you realize that the shadows aren’t the only thing that exist
that the world is full of marvelous things. The sun then helps you to open your eyes to
acknowledge the truth of the world. The metaphor of the sun is implying that by seeing things in
the light of the sun we are able to see new ideas and new concepts unlike being chained inside
the cave and only seeing shadows.
Plato also uses symbolism in “The Allegory of the Cave.” The cave is dark, and therefore
symbolizes a world of ignorance. Those who pursuit a life of knowledge and intelligence should
make it their goal in life to help those who are still trapped inside the cave; those who are
ignorant and in the dark. They need to help them come out and see the light. Everyone starts
inside the cave, but as we grow older education wise, we start to slowly come out and see the
Throughout the course of the story, Plato uses Formal diction. His words are very
structured and not as easy to understand. Often, the choice of words used have a much greater
and implied meaning than its literal definition. The reader has to push themselves to understand
the greater meaning behind his words to understand his writing.
In conclusion, Plato uses all these forms of writing such as diction, metaphors, and
symbolism to illustrate that our society should not only accept what other people say just because
it seems like “reality”. Instead we should really be open to other people’s opinions and analyze
different points of view. People need to get out of their shell and explore the real world, find the
true meaning of things, and question beliefs in order to acquire true knowledge.