March 6, 2019
Different Perceptions of Reality
People are much like sponges as society only absorbs the information that they are given. Plato uses the Allegory of the Cave as a way to compare a lack of education and its effects by presenting the prisoners as sponges in society. The Allegory of the Cave is comparable in a similar yet different manner to Weir's The Truman Show, which can be seen as more of a modern version. In both works, similarities can be found in the way both the prisoners and Truman are placed in a false reality and are both are being controlled. The prisoners and Truman both have been introduced in a false reality and unable to know of the truth due to the guards and producer that control them. However, both of these works deal with different ways of finding the truth where one is a forced discovery and one is made by curiosity. Through the use of setting, plot and conflict, both Plato's Allegory of the Cave and Weir's The Truman Show showcase that a person's perception of reality limits one from the truth.
To begin, the setting plays a critical role in both works. The prisoners and Truman have both grown up in one world which to them is the “real” world. What they see around them is all they know of, therefore, is reality. In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the setting is a dark cave that shines no light of the outside world, forcing the prisoners to see their cave as reality. They have been kept chained up in the cave, not being able to leave their entire life, therefore, have not seen anything other than the shadows in the cave. The prisoners are in an underground cave where they “see nothing of themselves or each other except for the shadows each one’s body casts on the back wall of the cave” (Plato). The prisoners would not know that there is anything other than the cave because their entire life has been in one setting which has become their reality. Knowledge is not given to the human mind. One must learn and develop an understanding of the world through education and experiences. Without being able to leave the cave, the prisoners were deprived of the real world which shows that people see reality only as the visible world around them. Similarly, the idea that people only know what they see is presented in Weir’s The Truman Show where Truman is showcased as a prisoner in the cave. The Truman Show takes place as a television program which stars Truman himself. Truman’s life is a show for others but because he has grown up with it his entire life, to Truman, his surroundings are reality. What Truman does not know is that his reality is actually a television set with actors which play a role in his life. One of the characters in Truman's life, Sylvia, confesses that Truman is “not a performer, he’s a prisoner”(Weir 1998), comparing his life to ones who are locked up and cannot see the real world. Truman's reality has always been fictional which was created as entertainment for...