Summary of Allegory of the Caves

Summary of “Allegory of the Cave”
In Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” he points out how humans see things through two different eyes, a “mind’s eye,” and a “bodily eye.”   He points out that a “mind’s eye,” is an eye through which a person uses a higher level of enlightenment that a person sees the whole picture of others, of both good and evil, and takes in their entire surroundings.   He states that a person is only able to see this vision when they are residing within the outside world; outside of the darkness and into the light of a perfect world.   In a “bodily eye,” one lives within darkness and is only able to see that which is only directly in front of them.   They determine their reality based on what they perceive to be true.   The cave, being a distorted view, filled with misperceptions and non-truths.   It comes down to light vs. dark; conscious vs. unconscious (451)
The prisoners that are kept in the cave, believe the shadows that they saw where true and lifelike.   Their brains and their beliefs where based strictly on what was right in front of them, so they believed what they saw, for they had no other teachings or in actuality; truth.   They are trapped in a false reality with no motivation to escape or desire to discover if what they saw (the shadows), was actually reality or their minds way of playing tricks on them, making them live a life of deception and lies. (p.450)
Once one of the prisoners leaves the cave, a whole new world is open up to him.   He is finally able to see that his past reality was a lie and an extremely distorted view of life. The prisoner realizes that by being chained to the walls, he was chained to darkness and living a lie.   Once the prisoner absorbs what the light has to offer, he is able to start on a journey of finding the truth, of using his “mind’s eye.”   However, he finds that the truth can be painful, in discovering that everything he knew to be true was not.   At first he doesn’t know what to believe, because he is...