Allegory of the Cave Essay
Allegory of the Cave Essay dannyd Are African Americans Still Oppressed? African Americans in society today like the prisoners in the Allegory of the Cave are hostage to their own mentality. The two characteristics commonly shared benveen both is ignorance to reality and a reluctance to change. Thus in rhe essay the prisoners are locked and chained down in darkness m’ith only a glow of light that allows for little sight. In turn objects placed in front of the glow cast shadows before them.
These shadows are then interpreted as reality. Looking forward or straight ahead is only one-way of thinking. Being able to look around and explore allows the freedom to challenge or determine it in fact what appears to he the truth is true. African Americans ancestors went through the Allegory in the Cave situation. They were chained under the boats and held captive in the darkness with the only light seeping through the door that led to the light. the only way out.
Once in America they were told they were slaves. Forced into a situation that seemed evidently out of their control they became complacent to what was an invented reality After everyday routines of farm duties and ousehold tasks it became a customs or their way of life, No one knew how to read and write, were they came from. where they were, and so forth which developed into ignorance. They were educated to not know their strengths while the white man took advantage of the weakness.
During the centuries of enduring misery, church became their only escape. The irony is that while they were brought into Christianity rhe white man use rhe bible as This way ot thinking was pass down generation to generation, In Turn it becomes a slave mentality. African Americans are deficient in knowledge concerning certain aspects of life. It is not that we lack intelligence rather we still hold on to the idea of being oppressed. Picture the prisoners living since childhood in an underground den, chained so they cannot mcp. e or see anywhere but straight ahead gehind rhem is a fire, which casts shadouus on the cave wall in front as people carry objects past the fire, The prisoners seeing nothing but shadows assume the shadows are all there is to reality. The African Americans in the world have become victims to a feeling of helplessness, because they are by nature, the son’s of African, whose sons have incapacitated them for centuries. The black man sees and realizes that he should act as the Caucasian in order to be accepted and successful, bur he cannot.
It is not in his nature, it is not part of his system of Thinking and acting. “Can an Fthiopian change his skin or the leopard his spotsLl” (Jeremiah 13:25) The more others in particular the vvhite man, attempts to help him, the more disturbed he becomes. due to the changes that have been forced on him. The Black “leaders employ politically loaded programs to lead the easily led and the easily discourages black. Theirfavorite subjects are education, employment, and politics. The topic education is loaded ith emotional and sympathetic subjects involving children and public money, In the field of education. lacks are completely ignorant. To African Americans, the word, EDUCATION is used specifically to mean understanding. They ask special educational privileges for black children and sometimes others demand that this education stick closely to black culture. With employment, economic unrest is the main weakness of our American form of industrial democracy, because it pushes the aggressive ro do something, while it permits the last to organize and demand more, Technological advances add tools, which make he unskilled black laborer Obsolete.
The interpretation Of these two words POLITICAL INTEREST in a blacks life means ONE MAN ONE VOTE. VOTE FOR THE FREE HANDOUT. Neither the American Black nor the Black African has emplcyed history, work or production to better them. African Americans desire an equal spot in the modern world without achieving it for themselves We hold ourselves back by not taking advantage of opportunities or listening to others opinions besides our own. We have been associated With the “Crabs in the Bucket” theory.
The theory is that when a crab tries to climb out of the bucket, the rest f the crabs latch on and pulls him back. For example, when a black shows interest in doing things the “white mans way,” he is called “money hungry,” “brainwashed,” a “white mans nigger,” an “Uncle Tom. ” The honors ofwealth usually go to those who produce, In this respect, the black has no one to blame but he, for poverty and shame. n•hich has always been the lot of those XQho refuse to produce.
Blacks usually become comfortable where he/she is, that they do not want to change. A with the prisoners if released and turned the light, he would not immediately be able to see the objects whose shadows he formerly atched Nor would he believe that these objects are more real than the shadows, hut would cling to his old idea of reality, The prisoners in the Allegory of the Cave and African Americans are both hold captive by their state of mind. The world has an image of success and this is a “white” image.
The black wants to have a part in this image, but does not want to fit him self into this image. He wants the white man to do it for him. The white man as a biological being is not the difference. He him selt is the image of rhis difference and he rightly uses ir as a measuring stick for success. The issue now is that people use color as an excuse for why they are where he/she is. In society today “equal rights” and “equal opportunity” are two different things.
African Americans have to become more responsible and accountable for his/her life. To whom much is given much is returned. In conclusion African Americans are the prisoners still in the Allegory otthe Cave Although in the sense that we initiate one way otthinking rather than think outside the box or see the whole picture. When rhe truth is expose, African Americans deny it and go back inside the cave, which is their security and shelter from the unknown.