English Composition 121

Post #1 Revisiting an Old Essay(might be cringey!)

In my freshman english class, Ms. Purves introduced us the Plato’s Allegory of The Cave. I’ve heard of Plato, socrates and other greek-persian thinkers, but never really knew any of their work or philosophies. Even though, i didn’t know their work, i knew that the Greeks and the Romans paved the way to modern society by advancing government, sports and arts. Knowing more about Plato i began to realize that he was truly a product of his environment.  He had all the tools to succeed very prosperous and rich time in Greek history. Being born a male during the final years of the Golden Age of Pericles, he had an amazing opportunity to study philosophy and become a scholar.

Reading through I remember just being awed by the insurmountable and surrealist scenario pictured in the “Allegory of the Cave”. In the Allegory of the Cave a group of men have spent their entire lives securely chained up in a cave. They have a severely shortsighted field of view as they were  bound by leg and neck, and cannot even turn their heads to see elsewhere. The only reality they knew was the shadows that they named and distant noises. They based their reality only the things they actually see and their external stimulus. They only base reality on their “material world” as Plato explains. The material world, the one we feel, smell and see, is really just half-seen images of the reality of the forms.  It suggests that we are slaves to our senses

This entire “journey” is about perspective and what is reality is to different people with different knowledge about the world. The prisoners’ perspective of reality seemed warped and hallucinogenic to our minds. The prisoners believed that the shadows were real. Although we all know shadows are not living things, that was the reality for the prisoners and it felt real to them; as real as the sun and the moon are to us.

I feel like Plato is referring to the uneducated and uninformed consumers and people of the world who do what they are told or believe what they are told to believe. He is trying to warn that society has conformed into a big gullible group of thoughtless followers, who comply with all the rules imposed on them without protesting.  It is a concept that demonstrates how humans are fearful of change from normalcy and what they don’t know. Plato is basically saying that men are living in an underground cave and it’s ironic that the story they’re literally in a cave.


knowledge metaphorically meant power. However, with all this power comes responsibility. The less the prisoners knew about the extremely complex world around them the less power they had.

Why are we here? What is reality? Are we being hidden from reality?

represents enlightenment, stepping of your comfort zone, and abandoning past beliefs.

The golden age of Greece led to breakthroughs in politics, philosophy, art, architecture, language and literature which are still impactful today. Modern Civilization would not have been the society we know today without the many influences from the ancient Greeks.

One thought on “Post #1 Revisiting an Old Essay(might be cringey!)

  1. Dhipinder Walia

    Thanks for sharing Raynier! It’s great to hear about your experiences in Professor Purves’ class. I never heard of Plato’s Allegory until junior year of college, and I remember being blown away because of how relevant it is to our media culture. Do you think you’ll explore this piece for your autoethnography? You mention the experiences of the people in the cave, but you might consider who you would be in this allegory. Would you be a shadow? prisoner? an outsider? Plato? something else?

    It’s also interesting that you pay attention to historical context– that of Greece and Plato. I would have liked to see more about your writing process here. In fact, I’m not sure what kind of writing you did with Plato’s Allegory. Was it a response? A summary? For your own process, spend some time reflecting on what roadblocks you faced when writing about this text; what kept you writing; what successes you remember when writing; what anxieties you might’ve had; maybe even a reflection of the feedback you received. All of this reflection will be useful should you choose to explore Plato’s Allegory for your final project.

    Sign into hypothesis for more annotations,

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