Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box

In Plato’s allegory, he never says who put the people in the cave.  He simply states that we are there until we are enlightened.  While Sartre implies in his writing that the three characters put themselves in the position of Hell.  To Sartre, our limitations are our flaws.  Not only were the characters majorly flawed, they didn’t even understand that they possessed such flaw(s).  They knew they were in Hell for acting out a crime, but did they ever think to wonder what caused them to act in such a horrible way?  This is the big question that they never ask, hence their continuation to stay in Hell.  The three characters were similar in that they all represented one another in some shape or form.  They absolutely loathed one another, but if they are all similar to each other, doesn’t that mean that they hate themselves?  They don’t want to see themselves as “bad” people because in their minds, they aren’t.  It’s this type of selfish thinking that leads them to their demise.  Their ignorance to see their flaws is something Plato talked about.  In some ways, living in cave can be Hell if the person knows that there is more out there to learn.  But if the chained person is blissfully unaware of any new information outside the cave, I don’t see how it would matter to them. 


  1. I like how you compared the two and I think it opens the question of how do we get past this?

  2. Or, to play off of Lizzie's question, is it even important for the prisoners to try to get out? What would be the purpose at that point? Do you feel this allegory bears any resemblance to today's society?

    Kari :)

  3. Why do you think it's in our nature sometimes to except the lot we are given and not challenge the system, or ourselves, to find more? How does this affect our prisoner state?