The word enlightenment is a very broad word that usually means, ‘happiness, truth, reaching full potential. However, it turns out new knowledge doesn’t come easily without the pains, rupture, awkwardness, and estrangements that come when seeking superiority. There are two main pieces, “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato and “Learning to Read” by Frederick Douglass, that describe how overcoming obstacles and hardships of losing love ones will come when reaching towards enlightenment.
These difficulties attract to the change that you decide to take, which will be unaccepted by the people who surround you. Making you feel alone and weak, regretting to every have been enlighten. First, Douglass’ enlightenment of learning the alphabet gives him hope to building a stronger literacy for a better life than that of a slave. Then, he improves in his literacy and finds his enlightenment to then feel sad and tormented. For example, Douglass says, “I often found myself regretting my own existence, and wishing myself dead; and but for the hope of being free” (191).
On one hand, Douglass feels lousy about his life because he knows how other Africans don’t have the opportunity to learn literacy. I agree to Douglass’ personal disappointment of Africans not being able to read because he faces the challenge of being a hero for the African population due to their disadvantage of being seen as slaves. Also, I will insist that Douglass feels depressed because it creates an everlasting thinking of his condition that caused affliction.
For example, he expresses himself by saying that reaching his goal of reading, “had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy” (193). Also, Douglass describes that, “learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing” (193). Therefore, his conscious of knowing the bad things that were happening, were trapping him in his own mind, giving him breakthroughs that arose, affecting him mentally. He feels unhappy which he doesn’t seem to find a treatment for and makes him feel hopeless, therefore, getting him to think in this way.
Also, the other piece that supports the hardship attraction when overcoming an obstacle to enlightenment is the “Allegory of the Cave, because it explains an analogy of seeing the real reality by adjusting your eyes from darkness to the light. For example, when the prisoner walks to see the light outside of the cave, Plato describes, “suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him and he will be unable to see the realities” (191). This analysis is describing the discomfort of leaving the cave because of the struggles of adjusting your eyes to see the truth.
As a result, he is adapting to this new stage of knowledge and creating a new way thinking, which convinces him that going through the hardships was worth it however still no easy.. Finally, one of the burdens that come from enlightenment from the ‘Allegory of the Cave’ is the unpleasant situation of losing family and friends to get to the light. For example, the ‘Allegory of the Cave’ one prisoner saw the other person who saw the light, once a prisoner saw him, Plato describes that the, “Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending” (659).
In the eyes of these prisoners, they now see him as a foolish person for not being able to see in the darkness like he used to. Therefore, costing him his friends but discovering the truth to the reality outside the cave. Next, another example of the burdens that come from enlightenment from ‘Learning to Read’ is of the relationship Douglass lost with his mistress due to his choice of pursing education. Douglass was getting instructed by his mistress with no problem and was “a kind and tender-hearted woman” (191).
A problem arose with the mistress’s husband saw Douglass learning and he stopped the instructions that the mistress was teaching to him. After this moment, the mistress began to change by explaining, “She was not satisfied with simply doing as well as he commanded; she seemed anxious to do better” (191). Therefore, now Douglass is faced choice, to cease his own efforts to learn literacy to continue receiving the mistress’ love or to resume his education.
As a result of deciding to pursue his education because he knew was more valuable, losing a love one was the burden that he carried throughout his childhood, but this choice became his best investment. The only way to restore a well combination between the value of education and pain is being able to have a passion for the truth and what’s right. If you are still a person that is okay with confront like the prisoners who didn’t leave the cave. Then, you won’t be able to be at peace with both, and this will create polarization between these two strategies.
And if you are not able to keep both strategies, you will not reach you enlightenment to its full potential. To conclude, we all want to reach our goals of being a doctor, teacher, entrepreneur, or even being a good parent. Getting to a certain potential of doing a specific action, or getting a certain position can be challenging for most. However, this pain are hardships that you experience that are part of the process to becoming better and leveling up. With the “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato and “Learning to Read” by Frederick Douglass,