Allegory of the Den Essay
The prisoners of the den are confined to a world that has been created by their masters, by a higher power. They are in a situation where they know only what they are taught and see only what they are shown. The prisoners are content with their surrounding because it is all they have ever known, and therefore know not what they are missing.
In society today often people are made to feel much like the prisoners. For example, in a communist situation, or strict boarding/religious school people only know what they are taught and are content with that because they know of nothing else. It is when the prisoners or people are exposed to the light, or truth, that problems arise.
The prisoners are pained by the bright sunlight and even bothered by it at first sight not because it is a dreadful sight, but because it is different and overwhelming. Very often people who have been “imprisoned” experience the same feeling when they are released into what we know as the real world and are overwhelmed by a wave of shocking truth and deplorable information, and their new responsibility to make decisions on what is truth and what is not.
The initial shock of truth causes great confusion at first, and in return, the taking away of that same light, or truth, can be equally as confusing because it has become hard to believe and people find it difficult to switch back to the controlled mind set from which they came. In general, the truth is hard to accept at first, but once you have seen the light, there is no turning back.
As for myself, I feel as though I am currently coming into the light. As a high school senior I feel that I have somewhat been a prisoner, though that is not necessarily an erroneous situation. As a child going through school and at home we are taught certain rules and morals. We are given guidelines and showed how to live and learn in our society. It is not until we are adults and we leave that confined situation that we are expose to the light and left to discover things for ourselves.
As I have matured through the years I feel as though I am slowly being brought into the light, rather than being thrown into it. Each day I learn more and more of the work and how it works and am given a little more freedom to explore. As seniors we are on the brink of being thrown fully into the world, with only the lessons we learned as prisoners to guide us.
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