The Underground Den Plato's story about the cave is about a group of prisoners living in an underground den. These prisoners live strapped with chains, facing a wall and are not able to turn their heads. They have lived in this prison their whole lives and all they have come to know is the shadows they see and echo's which they hear from their voices bouncing off the wall. The only light they have come to know is from the fire that burns behind them.
The story is about man's struggle to reach understanding and enlightenment.
The cave is a representation for education and ignorance, while the sun represents truth. In this cave, the prisoners believe that the shadows on the wall they see are reality and that is all there is to life, but in fact there is much more to be seen but their senses deceive them.
These senses are not actual truth because these prisoners have not incorporated their minds yet. The only truth the prisoners have known is they can never escape and the darkness and shadows which likely they will never leave because of the pain that is cause by looking into the sunlight. They are in fact ignorant and fearful of change. This proves to be true when the restrained become angered by the freed, enlightened prisoner.
One prisoner decides to leave the cave even with all the pain he feels from the light. He steps out and this new world is illuminated by the sun, which makes it very hard for him to see. The man is in disbelief and is not able to see the truth right away. He slowly progresses not to see just shadows, but reflections of real things in water that is somewhat what he is used...