ENG104 Essay #3

ENG104 Essay #3 - ENG104 1 "Escape from the Cave"...

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ENG104 1 “Escape from the Cave” If there was yet another example that history repeats itself, Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” would be added to the list. While it may not say exactly that history repeats itself, it certainly says that throughout history, people act a certain way towards subjects that are around to better the human race. Plato’s text covers his teacher speaking to a student about how, to some, ignorance is bliss, but that there is a better world outside “the place” that some choose to hide in. Essentially, this plays to Frederick Douglass’ essay titled “Learning to Read and Write,” as it exhibits him within the cave, struggling to flee upon realization of his status. With cleverness and cunning, Douglass is able to escape his newfound realities and, ultimately, “the cave” itself. Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” is part of a bigger reading, called “The Republic,” and gives us insight of the teachings of Socrates, the teacher of Plato. Specifically in this text, these are the teachings of Socrates to one named Glaucon, a student of Socrates’. Basically, the essays Plato has written are “diaries” of Socrates’, so while he may be the author, it is Socrates who is the speaker. This is all while keeping in mind that the odd numbered “verses” are Socrates speaking, while the even numbered verses are Glaucon responding. In the beginning of this allegory, it has Socrates explaining how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened by stating that “human beings live in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here, they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads.” (p. 479). This is important because it materializes the
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ENG104 2 beginning of what Socrates’ teaching. He continues, explaining that those released from the chains would get up and stagger towards the light, but will “suffer sharp pains,” that “the glare will distress him,” and that “he will be unable to see the realities of which in
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This note was uploaded on 03/11/2008 for the course ENG 104 taught by Professor Cortina during the Fall '08 term at Cal Poly Pomona.

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ENG104 Essay #3 - ENG104 1 "Escape from the Cave"...

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