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Symbolism and Allegory: The simplification of Plato’s Cave

Plato’s Cave, or as it’s also known, the Allegory of the Cave, is a philosophical concept that was introduced by Greek philosopher, Plato.  Presented as a Socratic dialogue between Glaucon, Plato’s brother, and Socrates, Plato’s Cave explores how education and the lack of it can manipulate and even restrict perspectives. A concept that has never ceased to remain relevant in our society, it can be interpreted in multiple ways with different meanings allocated to the various aspects of the story and how it reflects our reality.

We are sure the pupils had an exhilarating time discussing the meaning behind the theory and most importantly, what it means to them. As part of their project two exceptional Upper Sixth pupils, Ylva and Sophia, chose to develop Plato’s concept into a children’s book and interactive presentation for the Lower School pupils. Together they taught the younger pupils about the allegorical ideas in a simple way that they could benefit from.

Both Ylva and Sophia’s passion for this project grew from the teachings they undertook in their Philosophy class and from this were inspired to pass on the knowledge of Plato’s Cave to their younger counterparts. Sophia felt that knowing this concept from a young age broadened her mind and enabled her to be inquisitive when pondering the world around her. A valuable trait she and Ylva believed the Lower School pupils could use in their own endeavours.

Sophia and Ylva considered the best ways they could illustrate Plato’s Cave to a younger audience, after some careful thought they settled on a children’s book. While they faced some challenges in simplifying the complex concepts, they eventually developed the idea into a “fairy tale” narrative. This effectively engaged their target audience and allowed them to digest the overall message to “look beyond what they see right in front of them.” A resounding well-done to Sophia and Ylva for their brilliant work!

“Introducing pupils to the mindset demonstrated in Plato’s Cave helped them make a link between how they think and what the theory is suggesting about how we think…it allowed them to properly embody a philosopher.”

Sophia, U6 IB Pupil