Philosophical Principals Exemplified in The Truman Show and in the Allegory of the Cave

Philosophical Principals Exemplified in The Truman Show and in the Allegory of the Cave

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In order to understand the moral fabric of the world, it is important to question any information that is given to an individual, instead of blindly accepting the majority opinion and giving it full credibility and validity based on other people’s opinions. Plato’s work, The Republic introduces the allegory of the cave, which is metaphorical scenario that attempts to explain the importance of questioning norms that may seem trivial. Plato illustrates a cave where bounded prisoners have lived all their lives in seclusion, away from the outside world. In their immobile state, they can only look at the wall in front of them which is illuminated by a small fire that has been going on behind them. The wall constantly projects shadows of people passing by outside the cave going about their daily lives. The prisoners have never seen anything else, and they have never experienced the outside world, so they are content in what they have. Plato then, poses a problem of one prisoner escaping, and he analyzes and hypothesises what the initial reaction of the escaped man would be. The first thing the prisoner would experience would be blindness, ironically from the overwhelming exposure to light as he steps out from the cave. Soon, he will begin to realize his ignorance as he sees that the shadows he had seen all his life were actually real people. Plato concludes that his idea of the perfect life inside the cave was ill conceived and that the prisoner would have never been aware of the world outside, had he not escaped. Similarly, The Truman Show, directed by Peter Weir, follows the life of a man in the utopian town of Seahaven. What the protagonist isn’t aware of however is that his entire life has been broadcasted throughout the world; as a...


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...umstance is absent or present”. From the beginning of human existence, people were always in desperate search of the truth, about how we came to exist, what a person’s identity really is, and to find the truth about what our perceived reality actually is. To do this, they must become non-conformist and judge things for themselves outside the prejudices forced on them by the society. This is exactly what Truman and the escaped prisoners did. They proved Christof’s quote which was proven to be condescending to humans, by pointing out their ignorance, reluctance to change, as well as their deeply rooted conformist values. The protagonist in the scenario painted by Plato, and Truman Burbank successfully deciphered the distinction between reality and illusion and gained their own individuality through questioning the information that was given to them with an open mind.

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