Authenticating Plato’s Philosophy Regarding Human Nature Essay Example

Plato, a Greek philosopher, once delivered one of the most powerful quotations in history: “human behaviour is fueled by three main sources: desire, emotion and knowledge”. Charles Dickens's fiction novel, Great Expectations, along with a few others from various authors, contain a protagonist whose actions are evidence of Plato’s hypothesis. All four novels have a common theme suggesting that an individual’s desires overpower all relations. The four authors successfully manage to construct their protagonists to demonstrate that relationships and law are both secondary when emotion and desire have fueled someone to attain what they feel is a necessity. Knowing that one of the protagonists is fueled by necessity, the second and third by love and the fourth by desire, we can utilize their stories and actions to portray it as evidence. To commence argumentation, the first protagonist will be discussed to help fortify the validity of the thesis.

The Bastard of Istanbul Example 

Firstly, Maya Angelou, a famous author and poet once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”, and the decisions of Armanoush Tchakmakchian from The Bastard of Istanbul can be related to Angelou’s famous words. In the novel’s sixth chapter, the author, Elif Shafak, describes “a secret gate” being “unlatched in the depths of her [Armanoush’s] brain…. She had to go there. … She had to make a journey to her past to be able to start living her own life” (Shafak, 116). Shafak has constructed the character of Armanoush and placed a unique curiosity within her. Armanoush is fueled by knowledge, but more so, the knowledge of herself that she does not bear. 

At this point in the novel, Armanoush feels it is a necessity for her to understand her past life and truth about herself to escape the agony that lies in her subconscious mind. Despite knowing about her parents' disapproval of her going back to Turkey, Armanoush is fueled by curiosity and lies to her parents about her location for weeks, while she stays in Turkey. When Shafak describes “a secret gate”, she is in fact metaphorically stating that Armanoush has traversed into her subconscious mind and she is now aware of the agony that troubles her. Using Angelou’s famous quotation, and analyzing Armanoush decisions, the knowledge section of Plato’s hypothesis is proved. Next, there is emotion. 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Example 

Secondly, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, written by authors Heather Morris and Jamie Ford, both narrate the story of their respective protagonists who are fueled by love. The love story of Henry and Keiko from Ford’s novel unfolds to be a tale of two races shortly after the second world war. Henry, as a Chinese kid, living in the USA falls in love with Keiko, a Japanese girl. Despite knowing about the tension between Americans and the Japanese, and even though Henry’s parents have forbidden him from meeting with Keiko, Henry continues to meet Keiko and love her more every day. 

The reason being, Henry believes it is imperative that he feels safe and is given the love he requires but interestingly, Henry finds that essential element in his life with Keiko rather than his parents. If we move over to Morris’ novel, we find another example of a protagonist fueled by emotion. When Gita was asked about her love, Lale, she answered with courage and spoke, “I know he is not perfect, but I also know he will always put me first”(Morris, e-book). Gita’s answer suggests that Lale’s love for her is so great that he is willing to do anything for her. 

Considering the context of the story, as they were workers for the SS army at Auschwitz, as readers, it is possible to come to the conclusion that Lale would put himself in harm’s way for her and defy the strict laws of the camp to continue loving her every day. For, Lale, it is necessary that he makes Gita feel as loved and comfortable as possible in those brutal conditions. As we conclude attesting the emotion and knowledge parts of Plato’s conjecture, the third and final can be evaluated. 

Great Expectations Example 

Thirdly, Dickens Great Expectations’ protagonist, Pip has been built as a character who once chased an impossible love which ultimately birthed his desire to become a gentleman. Pip’s decisions are based on his desire to become a successful man in London. Knowing that the thesis states that all relations are ignored when an individual requires what he feels is a necessity, in chapter 17 of the novel, Pip says a six-word sentence which blends the exposition into the rising action as well as provides evidence to validate the thesis. He says to his good friend Biddy, “ I want to be a gentleman” (Dickens, 101). 

Because the readers already know about what must happen if he chooses to become a gentleman, they comprehend better that Pip’s internal engine is completely fueled by desire. His desire can also be looked at as him grasping an opportunity for his own enhancement as a human being which to him, is a desideratum. Pip is willing to abandon a longtime apprenticeship with Joe, his friend/father figure, to grasp this opportunity, meaning he is willing to neglect his relations with his family. Dickens construction of Pip’s character completes the third element of Plato’s theory. After a substantial quantity of evidence provided from four different novels, a route can be set towards a conclusion.

To Sum Up

To conclude, stories from these four novels can be used as corroboration for the following statement: human nature involuntarily causes for an individual to disregard all elements and focus on one which their mind believes is as paramount as the air we breathe. Personally, I do agree with Plato’s hypothesis because of the four novels have been written at different times by different authors and yet, Plato’s theory is applied to all four novels. 

Armanoush curiosity, Pip’s desire and the two other stories discussed are strong evidence that human behaviour is in fact fueled by one of desire, emotion or knowledge. Besides, whether or not, humans are aware of their actions or of the fuel that powers their engines Plato’s three elements will always be present somewhere in the formula of that fuel. A few words from Earl Nightingale suggest that “Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality”. While his quotation along with Plato’s is only a fragment of their philosophies, they provide significant information regarding my arguments.



We are glad that you like it, but you cannot copy from our website. Just insert your email and this sample will be sent to you.

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails. x close