Plato's Allegory of the Cave in Pleasantville

Topics: Philosophy, Plato, Knowledge Pages: 3 (1082 words) Published: December 6, 2011
Writer and director Gary Ross captured the essence of Plato’s philosophical views in his movie, Pleasantville. The movie is about two siblings, David and Jennifer, who live in completely different high school social scenes. Jennifer is the wild, extroverted teen who is obsessed with partying and boy drama. David, on the other hand, is a social outcast and spends most of his time watching TV, specifically, his favorite show, Pleasantville. David idolizes the show because of the perfect town in which everyone is accepted and there is never anything that goes wrong. When the siblings’ mother goes away, the two are left arguing over what TV channel to watch. As their fighting develops, they eventually break the remote, which leads to the plot twist when the two are transported into the town of Pleasantville. This movie directly relates to Plato’s philosophical beliefs, specifically his conclusions about the Allegory of the Cave. However, the movie can also be loosely related to Plato’s noumenal and phenomenal realms in the sense that it is hard to tell the difference between the intelligible and sensible realms. Plato’s beliefs are interpreted and modernized in the movie, which demonstrate the four truths that Plato realizes in his Allegory of the Cave conclusions.

Pleasantville helps the audience understand the conclusions Plato draws from the Allegory of the Cave. Plato’s first conclusion explains why gathering knowledge and education can be difficult. The movie is a parallel because David and Jennifer’s cave is the life they lead as high school students. They are brought to the light when they are transported to Pleasantville. There, they must adapt to a different lifestyle and confront the truths about themselves that they ignored in the superficial world they once inhabited. When they are brought to Pleasantville, they also act as a philosopher who is bringing knowledge to the small town. For the people that live in Pleasantville, they are...
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