It is written as allegory of the cave full text pdf dialogue between Plato’s brother Glaucon and his mentor Socrates, narrated by the latter. Plato has Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall.
The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them, and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners’ reality. Socrates explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not reality at all, for he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the manufactured reality that is the shadows seen by the prisoners.
The prisoners manage to break their bonds one day, and discover that their reality was not what they thought it was. They discovered the sun, which Plato uses as an analogy for the fire that man cannot see behind.