Plato's Republic Essays: Fantasy Vs Reality

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Fantasy and reality are like twins: sometimes it is hard to distinguish between the two. Scholars of all ages have discussed around this theme. In the allegory of the cave of Plato’s work The Republic, the cavemen see the shadows cast on the walls, and they regards that fantasy as the reality (Haarlem, 1604). There are a few intelligent individuals who are fortunate enough to see the original statues that cast shadows on the walls, nevertheless they are still seeing the fantasies because the statues are only copies of the outside world that represents reality (Haarlem, 1604). As technology progresses, civilizations are equipped with more advanced tools to understand the nature. Especially during the scientific revolution, the general public …show more content…
Swift satirizes the empiricism with the contradictions between the exotic things portrayed in the stories and the documentative writing style. The author’s writing style is very realistic and documentative, which makes the characters seem like following the principles of empiricism. However, by writing exotic and absurd scenes, the author wants the readers to perceive the book as a fantasy: everything in the book is fictional. On the page of 38, the author portrayed this …show more content…
However, the captain “immediately convinced” of the story shows how one can easily be convinced by the fallacy despite how absurd it is. It triggers a more profound thought: how can the readers assure that their world is rational? What if the readers’ world is irrational as Lilliput and Brobdingnag in the eyes of another observer? While Gulliver and other characters are like the prisoners confined in the cave that can only see the shadows casted by the statues, the readers are in the position of great philosophers who can see the actual statues; nevertheless neither of the party acknowledges the truth that is outside the cave. Jonathan Swift deliberately combines the realistic tone and absurd fantasies and creates the contradiction between the reality and fantasies, so that the readers are aware of the fact that ideas perceived as the truth might be the ridiculous image of the truth. Gulliver is successful at convincing other characters in the book such as his wife, the captain, and the scholars that his experience is indeed the reality through empiricism. When people are willing to accept fantasies no matter how absurd they are, the truth is being replaced by the absurd fantasies; even worse, no one is aware of that the reality they perceived is ultimately a delusion of the reality. Swift

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