One of the most remarkably similar points in Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and “The Myth of the Cave” is the makeup of the group the main character leaves and afterward returns to. In both stories, this former group is concerned only with the immediate issues of life and does not have any higher purpose. Whereas Jonathan Seagull sees flight as the very reason for life, the other gulls in his flock use flight only as a means to obtain food, and stay alive longer. Similarly, Plato tells that the prisoners in the cave are “chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them,” thus they are unable to see the truths of the ou...
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...eople (5). Jonathan even gives up his own pursuit of knowledge so that the earthly gulls will have a chance to understand as he does. Whether the moral takes shape in Jonathan’s tutelage of the earthly gulls or in the leadership of Plato’s philosophers, it holds the same crucial lesson.
In conclusion, the apparently simple plot lines of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull and “The Myth of the Cave” conceal a message of far greater significance. Through the makeup of the character’s former group, the process of the character’s return, and the message of the stories, both of these allegories teach a valuable lesson about the importance of sharing one’s knowledge. If readers consider the parallels between Jonathan Livingston Seagull and “The Myth of the Cave,” they will gain a fuller understanding of both works, as well as a novel perspective on the their own purpose in life.
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