Essay - Plato and the Little Prince Plato's Allegory of the Cave...

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Plato and the Little Prince

Plato's Allegory of the Cave ***** The Little Prince ***** Antoine de Saint Exuprey

***** Allegory of the Cave in Book Seven of The Republic portrays a world in darkness, the darkness of a cavern. Individuals in ***** darkness of the cavern of the lived texture of reality, of a daily existence of neckties and golf as Antoine de Saint Exuprey might say, sit around a burning fire. This image represents human beings the world. The fire the human beings gaze at is the fire of the enlightenment ***** philosophers of humanity, are seeking, *****ten in vain. Occasionally, the humans at the ***** c*****ch glimpses of a higher form of re*****lity upon the walls of the cave in the form of shadows. The shadows, which represent how most human beings see reality, ***** really only dimly filtered versions ***** ***** true nature of the forms, or the most pure aspect of every ***** substance—for every object in ***** world, there ***** a more perfect version of it in the ***** of the forms.

***** L*****tle Prince, in the children's book of the same name, may be said to reflect such an allegory, even in its *****dication when the author asks "the indulgence ***** ***** children who may read this book for dedicating it to a grown-up," for the m***** the book is dedic*****ted to is not ***** full of understanding, like the Platonic philosopher in a world of false shadows, but hungry and cold in a physical sense and also a spir*****u*****l sense for enlighten*****ent. Thus the ***** De Sa*****t Exuprey dedicates the book to "the child from whom th***** grown-up grew," the ***** form of ***** adult ***** is now *****n by all in the world as a sh*****dow upon the cave, for "all grown-ups were once *****—***** few of them remember it," the author notes, the "forgett*****g" ***** an adulthood of childhood being a reference ***** the Platonic ***** consciousness of what we perceive as reality, ***** is merely the shadowy world ***** the forms. Childhood is purity and truth, adulthood ***** falseness.

This notion of a Pl*****tonic misinterpretation of physical truths in the world is ***** ***** liter*****y rendered when the child of Chapter 1 draws a boa constrictor swallow*****g an elephant that, in the false perception of adults, merely appears to be a h*****t rather than the frighten*****g, true form that it is in the lived ***** of reality and ***** *****'s mind, as opposed to the cave-***** understanding of grown adults. The child narrating the work sagely observes that grownups never understand. Although Plato does not idealize the childlike state in ***** ***** itself, the idealization of childhood in The Little Prince has a *****nic parallel in the ***** that the novel chronicles a fall from grace on the part of its adults and a wisdom ***** the ***** of the individual who is farthest away from the older ***** of lived ex*****tence.

Both Plato and Exuprey suggest, in *****


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