Luce Irigaray: The Wall

Irigaray's approach to The Cave goes into a discussion of walls in a few different forms. She begins with the wall of the cave, "which will serve as a backcloth" (245). She immediately continues her discussion of the ways in which The Cave is phallic, eventually leading her to discuss the wall as a hymen. She says that the wall is "never, ever, crossed, opened, penetrated, pierced, or torn" (249). I found her discussion interesting and surprising in comparison to Plato, for, in Plato, looking upward is meant as a way of extending one's knowledge. Irigaray's approach interprets ascending the cave as "Vertical. Phallic even" (247), so to say that the idea of the male is more prevalent in the cave, and the female knowledge is left out. The wall in The Cave was a screen for shadows, though we typically use walls to keep things from entering or leaving, and that's exactly the direction Irigaray is going with the backcloth, hymen, and diaphragm.

For those disappointed that I didn't relate the text to Pink Floyd, please accept this as my apology:

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