Similarities In Plato's Allegory Of The Cave And A Tale Of Two Cities

740 words - 3 pages

The rigorous and troublesome times of the eighteenth century brought forth much darkness and suffering, but from this oppression came contentment and light. From the opening paragraph, light and dark are contrasted in A Tale of Two Cities, with the use of direct opposites to portray the times. The Allegory of the Cave by Plato also goes along with this theme. It is a symbolic depiction of prisoners held in a cave without a true perception of reality. They are brought up looking at only the shadows of what really exists until finally one is released and travels out of the cave into the radiant world above. The theme of light vs. dark is portrayed as metaphors, as the characters Sydney Carton, and the prisoner in Plato’s Allegory, as well as the idea of resurrection.

Plato’s Allegory uses the metaphor of the cave and the outside world to show the light vs. dark theme. The cave is “the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and you will not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world.” (P.3) When the prisoner goes on this journey upwards, he gains knowledge of the things around him and himself. Before this knowledge, the shadows on the wall were all he knew and to him it was reality. Once he is shown the truth however, and he looks back upon the cave, he sees what a dark unrealistic place it is and will do anything to stay in the light. Comparable to this is the metaphor at the very beginning of A Tale of Two Cities. “It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.” (P.1)

Sydney Carton’s character represents the theme of light vs. dark because of his transformation throughout the novel. He initially appears as a lazy alcoholic who cares for no man on earth. As the tale continues, Carton’s love for Lucie brings him out of the darkness and changes him into a better, more respectable man. His alcoholism begins to end and “For the first time in many years, he had no strong...

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