In the Allegory of the Cave, people are living in a cave underground. Since childhood, they are tied up inside the cave in a way where they cannot turn their heads and are only able to see the wall in front of them.
There is a fire behind them and in between them and the fire, there are people who walk through carrying shapes and images of humans and animals. The noises made by these people walking by would then be assumed to be the noises made by the shadows cast on the wall of the image by the fire. The prisoners would view reality as “nothing else than the shadows of the artificial objects”. If one of the prisoners were to leave the cave(forcibly so) , be blinded by the sunlight, and told everything he knew was “a cheat and an illusion”, he could still choose to believe his cave reality was actuality. As his eyes adjust, it would take him time to realize he world above is real. After coming back down and sharing his newfound experiences, the rest of his group would ridicule him for his eyes not being adjusted to the darkness again.
Telling him his eyes are ruined for leaving and then proceeding to kill him for thinking unlike them.3) How doe this critique the problems with conformity?The conformists in this reading would be the prisoners that never left the cave. When the prisoner that left returned to the cave, the rest of the prisoners that did not left would laugh and belittle him by telling his eyes are ruined. If he attempted to release them, they would kill him. This leads one to the conclusion that conformity leads people to brazenly ridicule and eradicate the existence of another.
It can make one so uncomfortable that they would resort to most extreme of measures.. The risk one receives for being themselves is death, in the metaphorical sense.
When the prisoner decided to enlighten the others and share the knowledge that he obtained from leaving the cave, he was immediately shunned.