Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” is one of his most well known stories and I believe it’s one of the most accurate depictions of the modern world. Education now, more than ever, is seen as the key to success. People without an education not only earn much less money a year on average, but according to Plato, they are ignorant people who would rather choose to be shackled and staring at a wall than do anything to free themselves.
In this excerpt he explains that people are born and ‘raised’ in a cave. Plato continues to describe these people that we soon discover are prisoners as “chained so they cannot move, and can only see before them.” There was a 6 foot wall/bridge with a fire behind it, which casted shadows the prisoners could see in the wall in front of them anytime someone crossed the bridge. For the prisoners, this was their life; They knew nothing else and they didn’t question it either. Because these prisoners were limited by the constraints and darkness of the cave, their only thought of what the shadows could be came only from their limited perspective. While many people do not believe they’re living in darkness, in many cases they do.
The state of living in darkness is symbol to being oblivious of the realities of a situation. One day, however, one of the prisoners managed to escape from the shackles and went toward the light and at the end of the cave he saw something he could never imagine, a whole other world as bright as the sun. To some extent, I agree and like the idea of this excerpt. I do believe people who aim for a higher education become more empowered and open-minded, but unlike Plato, I think anyone is capable to become educated. Women are more than qualified to learn and expand their minds; Anyone who allows their bodies to commit to living in reality will find themselves becoming wiser and more knowledgeable than ever, whether they be male or female. I think Plato was a very smart, creative man even if he was pretty sexist.
Although his ideas weren’t perfect and most of the time were contradictory to what he said, some of his stories became the foundation to some pretty cool psychologists’ ideas like Freud’s model of the psyche. Plato’s creativity showed how living in darkness and becoming a victim to reality really limits your opportunities to learn and grow as a person. He might have been a dick toward women, but we have come a long way since he died.