The Allegory Of The Cave Essay

The Allegory Of The Cave Essay

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For millennia authors have been exploring the concept of truth and how it relates to everyday life, and it still continues to be a common theme in literature. It dates back to 340 B.C. when Plato wrote “The Allegory of the Cave” to present day literary texts. Although truth may not always be apparent at first, it still persists and does not change due to one’s opinion. While humans are able to analyze their surroundings and situations, it is not possible to know the truth without all necessary information. Before exploring literary works that involve the concept of truth, it is important to understand the difference between perspective and truth. According to Oxford Dictionaries, perspective is defined as “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view,” whereas truth is defined as “that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality” (“Perspective”; “Truth”). Perspective is our point of view based on our surroundings and situations, but it may not always be aligned with the truth. For example, before and after Pythagoras theorized that the earth was spherical, many believed it was flat based on their point of view—they could not imagine the world being spherical when they could not see the curvature (Huffman). However, their perspective was not in accordance with the facts, which means they could not know the truth. Although they were unable to see it at first, the truth still persisted. Truth is always unchanging and is reliant upon fact and reality, and this stands true for situations throughout history.
A prime example of how truth is not always initially recognizable can first be seen in Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave.” The prisoners were thoroughly convinced the noises they heard were c...


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...seen the truth.
Literary works continue to demonstrate this concept of needing perspective to be in accordance with fact or reality in order to know the truth. In the selections mentioned, all of the characters’ perceptions were not based on fact or reality, which caused them to not be able to perceive the truth. From the characters’ point of view, they were not wrong; however, their lack of understanding hindered them from actually knowing the truth, which is unchanging and aligned with fact or reality. The prisoners were ignorant about the existence of the upper world, Johnson failed to pay attention to his surroundings as he left the coffee shop, and both Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade were misinformed about the circumstances regarding the letter. Their perceptions were not aligned with the facts or reality, so they were unable to fully recognize the unchanging truth.

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