Plato, Allegory Cave Essay

Words: 1146
Pages: 5

Comprehending the Mind's Aging Eye

"The Allegory of the Cave," by Plato, explains that people experience emotional and intellectual revelations throughout different stages in their lives. This excerpt, from his dialogue The Republic, is a conversation between a philosopher and his pupil. The argument made by this philosopher has been interpreted thousands of times across the world. My own interpretation of this allegory is simple enough as Plato expresses his thoughts as separate stages. The stages, very much like life, are represented by growing realizations and newfound "pains." Therefore, each stage in "The Allegory of the Cave" reveals the relation between the growth of the mind and age.

The first stage of the excerpt,
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"And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them?"(6) After seeing the light of the sun and contemplating on previous stages in life, the people pity the time spent in the cave. This symbolizes how adults are truly objective, just looking at the physical characteristics of their life now. Many adults are known for their negative thoughts about the children of today and how they pity their ignorant actions; however, they are forgetting that they too lived at that stage of life and had the same mindset. The people at the top of the ascent, like adults, want to stay on top forever, but it is nearly impossible to recognize true beauty for long.

Finally, the last stage of the allegory, which deals with the descent from the top, is like being an elderly person. Now the people must come down from their height of life back into the dark cave, which again causes them pain. This descent is truly hard as the person is now accustomed to the light instead of dark. The people who are now in the cave are seen as ridiculous as they try to describe the shadow. This is true as old people are not acknowledged by the young. Sometimes seen as slow and fragile, the elderly are not given a chance to be heard. In addition, when they do try to give insight, they are not accepted. "Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his