The Allegory Of The Cave!!! - Big O!!! One Truth

ScionofDestiny 04-23-2006 04:59 PM
ALRIGHT - so anyone who has read up on the Big O article on wikipedia will remember that it explicitly said that Big O was based off Plato's Republic and namely, the allegory of the cave. Of all the allegories, metaphors, and symbols that Plato used to convey an idea, the most famous and long-lasting in our minds is the "allegory of the cave". The best way is to first tell the allegory and then, for people who don't understand it, interpret it. This is how Plato himself told it in his book. Tell me if you agree that there is a correlation (Similarity between the two).


Imagine prisoners who have been chained since childhood deep inside a cave. In the deepest part of the cave, their legs and arms are chained to the floor, tightened to the point where they can only look at the back of the cave. They can't see the entrance of the cave to the world outside - only the darkness of the back.

Behind the prisoners, and over the entrance of the cave, there is a giant archway - a bit like a bridge. You can go underneath this archway to get to the world outside, but the prisoners heads are always changed so they can only see the wall in front of them.

Between the archway and the prisoners there is a giant fire. Some people get lost at this point, so make sure to read over it until you understand completely. Now, on the archway there are a bunch of people who are carrying images of animals, objects, and things that we see in reality. The fire between the prisoners and these shape carriers who walk on the archway makes shadows - these shadows cast themselves on the back of the cave - the wall of the cave that the prisoners are chained too. It is from this wall that the prisoners can see the shadows of the real images.

The prisoners play a game to pass the time - they name and describe the shadows as they pass, which to them seem real. This is because these shadows are the only reality they know. When one of the shape-carriers behind them speaks, the prisoners assume that it is the shadows themselves that are speaking.

Now suppose one day one of the prisoners broke free or is released by some unknown force that removes his or hers shackles. His or hers fellows are imprisoned still, looking at the shadowy images cast by the fire, and don't notice that he is free.

When the prisoner turns around, his or hers eyes are blinded by the firelight. The other people on the archway, the non-prisoners, the shape-carriers can barely be seen, as the fire is blinding the free prisoner. Because he or she is blinded, the real shape carriers actually look less real than the shadows of their images. That makes the shadows themselves seem more appealing than the real thing.

If the prisoner decides not to turn back and embrace the images over the real thing, they will walk around the fire and then leave the cave. Because they have been chained in darkness for so long, the sun will blind them.

At first, because of the blinding sun, he or she will only see dark things like shadows. Eventually however, their eyes become accustomed to the bright glare. They then begin to see that the world outside the cave is much more beautiful, more real, and not frightening at all. They begin to see that the Sun is the cause of all the nature, seasons, and changing of seasons of the world around them. They see the "one truth".

Driven mad with joy of the truth, the prisoner will of course run back to free his friends. But to his friends to whom the only true world is the shadow of the true images of the archway and the world outside, their old friend seems insane.

Much worse than that, the people don't want to be free - they are fearful of the truth of the world outside. Also, having seen the bright sun, the freed prisoner's eye would again dull and they would no longer be able to see the images of the cave, and thus they would be less than the people who can see the images but have never seen the light. Only time would give the person the ability to begin to describe what he had seen in a coherent fashion, but words themselves would not be enough, because words are the invention of the prisoners. Instead, the words could only inspire the idea of the world outside, and only the prisoners themselves could dwell on that idea of the world outside and then break free the chains that bind them and go outside and be real.


PRETTY cool huh? Plato had a neat way of looking at things. What he did here was play the ultimate "what if" game. The images of the cave are the reality that we, meaning US, the people of this universe and the planet earth see. That is to say, our whole universe is a false universe that was metaphorically made by true images behind a fire.

The shadows of the images represent the universe we live in, the universe of matter, space, and time - the physical universe we live in right now. The fire between the prisoners and the shape-carriers represent an obstacle we can walk around - obstacles get in our way, but they ultimately show us where we need to go. That is the message here.

The shape-carriers probably represent the "Archetypes" of the world outside. The "true" people and images of the "true" universe beyond ours. This could be associated with Plato's concept of "heaven".

Once outside, the prisoner sees the true reality, the universe that our universe is just a shadow of. While our universe is ruled by a principle of change through time, of things being lost forever to the sands of time, the world outside is eternal and nothing that is Good is ever lost. That is what makes it Heaven.

Having become aware, enlightened, returned to the true knowledge of the true universe from whence the prisoners (us) originally came, they rush back to tell the people about the One Truth outside the cave, the false reality. Naturally, we think they are crazy.

I'm sure you can see the messages in Big O here, but here we go.


Paradigm City is a world inside a dome - that much we seen in Act 26. Paradigm City is the cave. The people inside it are the prisoners, or actors who are on stage playing roles.

We don't know who built this Dome over Paradigm City - like Big Ear said, Paradigm City was designed to be a city without a past. To know who made the Dome over Paradigm City, the people must leave the city and enter the "true world" - which Plato called the true reality, or The Forms.

Plato viewed that the prisoners, the people we are, were based off eternal Forms of themselves. Plato believed that for anything and everything, animal, object, human, android, there was a Form, which he called an "archetype".

Consequently, "archetype" is the name of the Megadeus that Big O fought underneath the tunnels. Pieces of the Archetype were used to rebuild Big Duo. Big Duo in turn broke free of the cave! Don't you see? Plato said that Archetypes are the Forms we are based off of! By seeing our True Form, we can break outside of the cave (after death, or we could go outside temporarily and come back). People who had seen the "true reality" - the Universe of Forms and Archetypes - or the "One Truth" would seem insane and less than the people who only saw our false reality.

Sound like a certain crazy reporter we know? Schwartzwald is a sterotypical instance of a prisoner who broke free, went outside to see the sun, but eyes were blinded (he was badly burned in the anime, but the meaning is the same) and then went back to tell his friends, but because he no longer was mentally part of that reality, he was insane.

More importantly, Big Duo Inferno was made from parts of the Archetype. Remember when Roger went back down into the tunnels to see the ruins of the thing he destroyed, and then he followed the tunnel the Paradigm Firm had made to get the Archetype out?

That means that the reason Big Duo found the One Truth and the world outside the Domes (by crashing into the stagelight) is because he was made from the Archetype - which might well be the only original thing from the world before Paradigm City, before the endless Events or whatever per ever.

Instead of walking you through all of the examples and evidence, which I am sure have become somewhat apparent, I'll leave you to speculate. Tell me if you saw something I missed.

Note: Big O treats the allegory of the cave as a metaphor. To be clear

Paradigm City, the sea, and the wasteland are (the false universe that we live in of matter, space, and time - the universe of the inside of the cave)

The Dome outside the Dome that we see at Act 26 when the Military Police destroy it is (the fire that casts images)

The Sun hasn't been seen in Paradigm City for forty years (that is because the Sun is from the true reality, and Paradigm City is the false world, or universe - Plato viewed the Sun as eternal, and therefore as part of the Truth Universe)

Big Duo Inferno/Schwartzwald realize that the Domes are a fake world (Schwartzwald, who found the truth but was blinded, or burned, by the fire has found the Truth he was looking for - our universe, in this case Paradigm City, is a false world that is based on the world outside)

Big Duo Inferno was made from pieces of Big Duo and the Archetype (the Archetype Megadeus is the original, that which the false universe is based on - the Archetype is probably a relic from the time before the endless Events were started, which means that the Archetype, for all it's so-called evil, is the only truth within Paradigm City)
paul1290 04-23-2006 05:39 PM
Nice find. It helps make more sense out of Big-O's confusing storyline, as well as explaining some of Schwarzwald's behavior.
SEELE 08 04-24-2006 11:59 AM
We went over that in Pol Sci awhile back. I think I brought that allegory up in an Eva forum once.
ScionofDestiny 04-24-2006 04:55 PM
A few more pieces of evidence if you will.

Beck said that he had a memory that Roger was the Dominus of Megadeus - assumingly from the world before the Events, or the world of the Forms.

Plato said that people have a recollection of the Forms in life, in bits and pieces. I think that manifests itself here.