The movement of Plato’s allegory of the cave has three main parts which are a representation of the stages that the person in the narrative goes through. First, the bound prisoners’ first attempt at attaining philosophical knowledge starts with their perception of the images they see on the wall (Ferguson, 1992).They presume that the sounds they hear come from the images on the wall and this becomes what they believe and understand. More so, it becomes their reality since they have been denied the opportunity to perceive their reality in an alternative form. This stage is a representation of society’s ignorance.
One of the prisoners is set free and allowed to turn and see the stairway with objects that are actually moving as well as the fire. He is told this is the reality and what he had seen all his life was simply an illusion formed by shadows. The prisoner cannot see clearly since the fire is so bright, but he later comes to see things more clearly and understands that he was imprisoned and denied reality. This becomes the stage where he is enlightened and completely freed (Hall, 1980).
The third stage begins when the prisoner understands the truth. He returns to the others and reveals what he had learned, but they view him as a crazy person whose sight was corrupted by looking at the other side (Juge, 2009).They cannot understand or relate to what he says and therefore reject and forbid any initiative to look at the other side as the prisoner had done. When he finally readjusts to the darkness, he still knows thatthe reality is what he saw when he was freed. This stage represents how one can only be enlightened when he is freed from the shackles that bound him to a specific reality and knowledge cannot be forced upon people.
From the allegory, clarity and accuracy can be seen as the intellectual standards through which the prisoners used to gauge their belief (Paul et al. 2008). They comprehend the flickering images on the wall and are able to understand them because the information on the wall is clear and easy for them to understand.Finally, the prisoners considered the information from the wall to be correct hence accurate. Since the images on the wall were reliable and accurate, their thinking was entirely focused on their understanding of everything they knew about the wall.
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