1) What is the definition of “allegory?"
An allegory is defined as a complete story, which involves characters, and events that stand for an abstract idea or an event.
2) What is likely to happen when a prisoner is forced to see how the shadows are actually
produced? What happens when the prisoner is dragged into the sunshine?
If a prisoner was forced to see the true source of the shadows, he will first experience a physical reaction towards it. Essentially, as his eyes have been accustomed to the darkness of the cave, the light from the fire burning behind him will hurt his eyes, which will force him to look away. Thus, knowing that the fire hurts his eyes, the prisoner will refuse to look at it and will continue to look at the shadows. In essence, the prisoner will be perplexed by the fire and will then attempt to take refugee in the familiarity of the shadows.
When the prisoner is dragged into the sunshine, he experienced pain and irritation and was not be able to see anything at first. As he experienced more time in the light, however, he gradually became accustomed to the light and started to see things clearer. At first, he was able to see the shadows best, next the reflections of objects, and finally he was able to see all his surroundings clearly and vividly. As a result, the prisoner’s exposure to the light led him to the realization that the shadows didn’t represent a true reality, and was able to distinguish it from his new discovery of the truth.
3) What happens when the prisoner goes back into the cave to persuade the others of the true nature of reality? What does this part of the allegory represent?
When the prisoner goes back to persuade the other prisoners of the true nature of reality, the other prisoner...
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...d of peace and equality. Another example would be Galileo, as he contradicted the orthodoxy of the church through his own scientific discoveries. Living in a society where the truth could only be established by the church, his commitment to the quest for the truth put his life in danger.
6) What do you think is the moral (or morals) of the story?
The moral of this story is that as humans, people live in societies that offer them different versions of the truth, and in order to find the actual truth people must make the effort to remove themselves from their comfort zones (the cave), and endure the pain that the truth may bring. Also, the story explains that people must be willing to expose themselves to different realities while using reason and logic to be able to distinguish the true reality from the apparent and conventional reality that their societies offer.
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