Plato's Allegory Of The Cave

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Nothing in this world is certain or without meaning. Everything has a meaning behind it, but not everyone cares to find this truth or meaning, and people often accept things the way they are without question. This concept of false reality and discovering true knowledge can be seen in Plato’s story, Allegory of the Cave. Plato’s allegory revolves around one of three prisoners chained in a cave since childhood, whose reality is made up of only shadows. The prisoner is let out of the cave and forced to experience the real world and realizes the truth within the outside world. Another work that can be compared to Plato’s, Allegory of the Cave is Peter Weir’s film, The Truman Show. The Truman Show is essentially a modern, pop-culture version of …show more content…
Plato’s, “Allegory of the Cave” and, “The Truman Show” both include symbols of the sun and chains, which have similar meanings and play important roles in both works. In “Allegory of the Cave”, physical chains hold the prisoner back from reality, and the sun is the first beacon of truth the protagonist sees. Through the sun the prisoner understands, “that it is in a way the cause of everything that he and his fellow prisoners used to see” (Stickney 12). The sun is the prisoner’s first real experience of reality, and is what allows for the acceptance and realization that the cave is only an illusion, and reality exists only outside of the cave. The sun symbolizes the truth and shatters the illusion of the cave that the prisoner formerly believed. Likewise, Truman from, “The Truman Show” is also bound by metaphorical chains in his false world, and first sees glimmers of truth through the “sun”. For Truman, the chains are the water that surrounds Seahaven, and the sun is Sylvia. As a child, the fear of water is instilled in Truman by the director. The director stages an accident, in which Truman’s father drowns in front of Truman which traumatizes the protagonist and causes him to fear water the rest of his life (Weir). This fear, is what keeps Truman in Seahaven and prevents him from leaving. However, Sylvia is the one who allows Truman to see past his illusionary world as she exposes the falsehood of Seahaven. Sylvia represents true knowledge, and is who inspires Truman to try to venture out of Seahaven to seek the truth, and to inevitably free himself from the chains, his fear of water, that keep Truman from learning the truth. Although the prisoner and Truman have different chains, and encounter the sun at different parts of their journeys, in both works the chains symbolize the protagonist’s being held back from the truth, and the sun represents them letting go of their illusions, and discovering