Allegory of the Cave



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Allegory of the Cave

The thesis behind the author’s metaphor is the basic belief that all we perceive are imperfect "reflections", so in order to come out of the shadow we should re-examine our beliefs so we can live in truth and reality.

A quote from “The Allegory of the Cave” that would help support our thesis is, “‘and if,’ I said, ‘someone dragged him away from there by force along the rough, steep, upward way and didn’t let him go before he had dragged him out into the light of the sun, wouldn’t he be distressed and annoyed at being so dragged? And when he came to the light, wouldn’t he have his eyes full of its beam and be unable to see even one of the things now said to be true?’” This quote also demonstrates how Plato would use diction in his writing, using informal diction. Instead of asking as if he did not know he made his questions more assertive and less cultivated. Another quote from the story that also helps support the thesis statement and gives an example of a figurative language using metonymy is, “And if he once more had to compete with those perpetual prisoners in forming judgments about those shadows while his vision was still dim, before his eyes had recovered, and if the time needed for getting accustomed were not at all short, wouldn’t he be the source of laughter…” This demonstrates a metonymy because as it says he would be the “source of laughter” but truly it would not be him, instead it would be what he is saying.

Plato has one main style of writing. He uses imagery in order to help the reader understand the story better. For example: “Next, then, I said, make an image of our nature in its education and want of education, likening it to a condition of the following kind. See human beings as though they were in an underground cave dwelling with its entrance, a lone one, open to the light across the whole width of the cave. They are in it from childhood with their legs and necks in bonds so that they are fixed, seeing only in front of them, unable because of the bond to turn their heads all the way around…” This was the first paragraph written in “The Allegory of the Cave,” as you can see visual imagery is used and is commonly used through out the whole story. Plato uses hyperbole’s several times. In fact a reader might find themselves reading pure hyperbole’s while going through his writings. For example, Plato said: “You are like a man who is afraid of the many and in your not wanting to seem to command useless studies. It’s scarcely an ordinary thing, rather it’s hard, to trust that these studies a certain instrument of everyone’s soul- on that is destroyed and blinded by other practices- is purified and rekindled, an instrument more important to save than ten thousand eyes. For with it alone is truth seen. To those who share your opinion about this, what you say will seem indescribably good, while all those who have had no awareness at all of it can be expected to believe you are talking nonsense.” Here Plato is saying that in studies many people opinions come together and end up being full of information. However, instead of just simply saying that he adds so many dramatizations in which the reader will believe a simple sentence is extremely symbolic and heavenly.

In “The Allegory of the Cave”, there were many similes that were used and other types of figurative languages and dictions. An oxymoron that was described very well, two different ways of seeing things, in usage of their max perspectives. When the person inside the cave only see just was is showed to them, “The shadow in wall” That is basically everything for them. Once one is released, he understands that there is actually way more to that, than just a regular shadow, and that there is a lot more outside of the cave. Once you live both points of view you understand that what used to be like the greatest thing was way of too what can actually be a lot better.



I had some trouble to actually find some diction in this story of “Allegory of the Cave”. During the reading I actually felt like I saw a connection in words. In one part I saw “alliteration” I saw a repetition of words that started with the same letter. It was not so common, but I did see some “Alliteration”, but what I did recognize a lot more throughout the passage was “Cliché”. At one point in the story, you could assume that the author wasn’t writing with much meaning, as seemed like if he just wanted to get to the best part of the passage disregarding some things in between.


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