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Illusion vs. Reality Essay Essay

A universal theme found in Fahrenheit 451, The Truman Show, and Plato’s Republic is we accept the reality with which we are presented. The characters portrayed this theme through perceived reality vs. actuality, knowledge is power, and knowledge can only be gained if it is presented to it first. In all three, there are people without knowledge and people with knowledge. The people that don’t have knowledge are the general public, Truman, and the prisoners; the people with the knowledge are the government, Christof, and the things causing the shadows in the cave.

The people without the knowledge live their lives as if they know everything while the people with knowledge try to either keep it that way or them the knowledge. Reality vs. actuality helps portray the theme though the people without the knowledge, who have his/her own reality while the actual world is something different. In Fahrenheit 451, the general public live their lives believing books are evil while they are actually not. In The Truman Show, Truman lives his life as if it is real, but it is a lie that was created for a TV show.

In Plato’s Republic, the prisoners were born into a reality where shadows are their whole world, while the objects making the shadows were passing by. In all three, the reality shown to the people are not what the actual world is. Reality vs. actuality shows how the theme is portrayed in Fahrenheit 451, The Truman Show, and Plato’s Republic. Another thing that helps display the theme is knowledge is power. The people who have the knowledge either use that power to keep the reality that the people without the knowledge already have or try to give them knowledge.

The government in Fahrenheit 451 use firemen to try and keep the reality that books are evil and make that the truth to the general public. Christof and all the staff members in The Truman Show have the power and use actors to keep Truman’s fabricated world the “truth”. In Plato’s Republic the prisoners did not believe the philosopher who tried to give them knowledge and unveil the truth. The prisoners believe in their reality too much so to them, knowledge are the shadows and that kept them under the truth. The people without knowledge are kept under their reality because knowledge can only be gained if presented it first.

The people are never presented with knowledge, so they could never learn about the truth. Since the government tell lies, it prevents the general public to read books, and the general public never finds out the truth behind books. Truman never found out the actual world until he was presented with knowledge by his first love. Christof and the actors tried their best to prevent Truman from finding out the truth, but in the end they fail. In Plato’s Republic the philosopher tried to present the prisoners the real world, but the prisoners rejected him and continued to believe in the shadows.

The theme, we accept the reality with which we are presented, has been portrayed by reality vs. actuality, knowledge is power, and knowledge can only be gained if it is presented to it first. All of the people without knowledge had their own reality that was not the actual truth. The people with knowledge had the power and tried to keep the realities for the people without knowledge. The general public, Truman , and the prisoners did not gain knowledge unless first presented with it. If the general public read the books, and if the prisoners did believe the philosopher, then everyone would have knowledge and there would not be a fake reality.


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