Comparing Douglass And Plato's Allegory Of The Cave

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The power of education sets us free from the rest of the world. Education is the most empowering force to have, it builds confidence and breaks down barriers. Frederick Douglass’s “Learning to Read and Write” and “Plato’s Allegory of the Cave” is a common goals of breaking free from a system that was created by someone else. They achieve this by gaining the power of knowledge and understanding self-awareness. Douglass underlines the importance of education as the route to achieving freedom. Douglass is trapped by the system that was created by the majority who saw his skin color as a threat. Plato showcases the symbol of the cave in which the prisoner was trapped from knowledge of the outside world. They share the same idea of moving from ignorance …show more content…

In “The Allegory of the Cave”, the prisoner was ignorant of the true nature of their reality and was limited by their perception of the world. In Plato, Socrates illustrated an image of a prisoner chained to the cave wall their whole life, facing only a blank wall. Behind them was a fire burning that was casting a shadow. They believe this casted shadow was their only reality. However, one of the prisoners made a bold attempt to free himself and escape outside the cave. He would realize that the shadow was just an illusion and that the real world was more complex. Similarly, in “Learning to Read and Write,” Douglass described his experience as a slave who was denied education and showed how he managed to teach himself how to read in a broken system. He described that he felt enlightenment from the knowledge he found. He realized through self-knowledge he was a prisoner of slavery and that he wanted to be free from it. He was a prisoner like the one in Plato’s cave, unaware of the world beyond his own limited experience. He only realized that after learning to read and write that the world was much larger and more complex than he ever …show more content…

In “The Allegory of the Cave”, the prisoners are chained up to the wall by a “puppeteer” who manipulated the prisoners through the misinformation that was fed to them throughout their lives. This puppeteer represents those who are in power and in control of the narrative. The prisoners’ ignorance is perpetuated by the puppeteer who created this shadow as a wall inability for them not to see beyond. Socrates argues to Glaucon that prisoners’ lack of understanding of true reality is a form of oppression. Similarly, in “Learning to Read and Write,” Douglass describes his ignorance and oppression he experiences as a slave who was denied his basic right to be educated. He believed his ignorance was deliberately perpetuated by his own slave owner who fear that educated slaves would be more likely to rebel against their master. Douglass was initially unaware of their own injustice of his situation and had no means of accessing information beyond the limited scope of his own experience. It was through his education when realized the full extent of his

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