Fantasy vs. Reality
In the allegory of the cave, Plato describes the human perception of fantasy and reality.
The story is about these prisoners who have lived in the darkness of an underground den since childhood. They are chained so that they cannot see themselves or the real world above them; all they can see are shadows on the wall in front of them. Somehow, a prisoner escapes the underground den and heads towards the light. At first, the light blinds him and he is unable to see anything due to the fact that he has lived his whole life in darkness and knows nothing but that. Once he is able to see, he is shocked by the world he has now been exposed to but will soon become accustomed to it. This story compares the reality the prisoner faced once he stepped into a new world, ...view middle of the document...
This implies that humans have to be “dragged up” or “pulled up” from fantasy and forced to see reality. This also implies that once humans are shown a new perspective, they will not be able to understand or comprehend every part of that new reality. Why is it that humans have to be “dragged up” to a new reality? Are they capable of pulling themselves out of a fantasy on their own? Are humans capable of coming to their own understanding of new realities?
Plato’s answer is that we need the help of others to pull us up from fantasy into reality. He explains that humans are incapable of coming to a new perspective or reality by themselves. He says, “And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he is forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated?” (2) This passage implies that humans need guidance from others in order to understand reality and truth.
In my opinion, I disagree with Plato when he says that in order to achieve any kind of reality or new perception, we need the help and guidance of others. I think humans are perfectly capable of coming to any kind of truth through their own life experiences. Life experiences help us learn and grow as individuals and through that, we can come to our own realizations. I also think that everyone has their own set of beliefs, values, and morals that should not be forced among others. If we have others guiding us to what they think “truth” is, then we will be following their truth; we will never find our own truth, or our own reality. How do we decide if or when we need the guidance of others to come to a new reality or truth?