Allegory of the Cave and The Truman Show.
Plato's Allegory of the Cave is a story of how the soul moves toward enlightenment. The allegory begins with prisoners in a cave that eventually break free to see the world and acquire great knowledge. The allegory has eight stages, beginning with belief and ending in cognition of the world of forms. Some prisoners will stay in the cave and others will venture out. In this paper I will examine how the lead character of The Truman Show, experiences his own cave within the made for television world that he lives in.
First of all, "Plato realizes that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without (so far as they acknowledge) any awareness of his realm of Forms" (Cohen, Marc. "The Allegory of the Cave") Plato explains this with his eight stages of cognition. The first level is Belief. This is when the prisoners are strapped down in chairs staring at shadows being made by creatures dancing in front of a fire behind them. This is all they know; these shadows are the prisoners" reality. ( Halsted notes October 6, 2003) Plato's calls this common sense. The Second stage is Recognition. The prisoners now break their chains and headgear and turn to see the creatures that are walking in front of the fire. Now they realize that everything they do has been fake. Many will turn back now, out of the fear of the unknown, but some may decide to venture out and leave the cave. (Grube, G.M.A., Plato Republic) This is the third stage, Awareness, the prisoners leave the comfort of the cave to go into the sunlight of the world. Plato sees this as a person .
becoming aware of a truer and more real world that exists. (Halsted notes October 6, 2003) The fourth level is Observation, this is when the prisoners are continuing to realize.
that knowledge outside the cave is "far superior to the perceptions inside the cave" (Halsted notes October 6, 2003) The fifth level, Knowledge, now the prisoners are "acquiring, organizing, and categorizing the physical world in a scientific matter" (Halsted notes October 6, 2003).