Blog 1.6 -- Lost in the Cave (Definition)


      An allegory is a story that uses objects, animals, and nature to represent a larger reality.  In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the cave gives a picture into Plato’s view of the world.

    For this blog entry, I want you to look at some of the symbols in the cave -- shadows, prisoners, guardians, light, fire -- and examine one that you understand.  Then, as a graded writing assignment, you need to write an OCI (Observe, Consider, Interpret) paragraph answering the question: 

“What does this symbol say about Plato’s thinking, and how does it reflect itself in the world we live in?”

    To do this well, you will need to address both parts of the question.  Your topic sentence will determine how effective your paragraph will be developed.  In other words, if you start out with “Plato’s cave reflects the world we live in,” you’re probably sunk.  If you write more specifically -- “Plato’s use of shadows represents _______________, and this theory shows itself today by _________________” -- you will be in much better shape.  These paragraphs need to be thorough -- fact, analysis, interpretation --, meaning they will probably be 8-10 sentences long.

© Jeff Thomas,