"The Allegory" as a Reflection on My Life (a):.
Literature dramatizes self-knowledge. It manifests in imagery which relates to situations in everyday life. Like the expression, literature is an "eye opener" for several people. The Allegory for example. It certainly dramatizes my own self-knowledge in at least three passages. These follow. .
As early as their childhood, Socrates speaks to Glaucon of humans being chained by their legs and necks in an underground cave. He describes a blazing fire and a low wall built between the prisoners that reflect the shadows of the burning flames. Towards the top of page 1197, Socrates explains to Glaucon that "like ourselves" the cave dwellers have not seen anything of themselves or one another "except the shadows which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave". Socrates is imagining ignorance. He also believes that to the prisoners, "the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images" (1197). The prisioners have yet to realize why they are in the cave and how to come out of it. For every problem, there is a solution. The symbolic fire represents the light that they are unable to walk into. Like the cave dwellers, I too have been ignorant of the truth that the light reveals. Unfortunately, love tends to make you blind.
The third passage appears atop page 1198. Socrates asks Glaucon to envision the prisoner being reluctantly "dragged up" a "steep and rugged ascent" toward enlightenment. Alas, the prisoner decided to come out of the cave. Contemplate the event of Adam and Eve. Just as Adam, the prisoner had the freedom to choose the life style he wanted. Fortunately, (unlike Adam) he chose to live the good life. If the prisoner was force out of the cave, his eyes would be strained by the unfamiliar sight of the light. Socrates explicates on page 1198, that when the cave dweller reaches the light, "his eyes would be dazzled" and "realities" will be unrecognizable to him.