The Matrix is a science fiction movie released in 1999 and directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski. The movie represents a dystopian future in which humans perceive a simulated reality that is created and controlled by artificial intelligence.
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The sentiment machines use human bodies’ heat and electrical power as the main source of energy because solar power has been run out. The main hero, Neo, a computer hacker who leads a dual life finds out the truth about the existence of programmed reality.
He later decides to engage in a confrontation with machines to liberate humanity from cyberspace and the “dream world” created by computers.
Hence, the Matrix represents an ambivalent picture of the world in which two realities exist – the one that humans were programmed to see and the one that exists beyond it.
Therefore, the Matrix, the system created by computers, could be considered as a dystopian world in which humans are controlled by machines, deprived of the truth about the real world.
From the very beginning, the directors focus on the ambiguity concerning the objective reality in which Thomas Anderson, also known as Neo, lives. He strives to learn the truth and perceive the actual matter of fact.
While understanding the that there is something wrong with this world, the film focuses on the theory of forms, according to which the true meaning of the object is not what a human perceives using senses, but what quality an object possesses.
When Neo encounters Morpheus, the latter explains, “If real is what you can feel, smell, taste, and see, then “real” is simply electrical signals interpreted by the human brain.” The more people are dependent on machines and artificial intelligence, the less they are concerned with nature.
Further, in the movie, Morpheus refers to this issue, “Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony”.
Indeed, living in the era of technological advances, machines and computers have entangled the entire planet with wires and have made people less conscious about their potential. Computers have taken control of human minds.
While focusing on the abhorrent picture of the apocalyptic world, the movie also defines the Matrix. While disclosing the truth to Neo, Morpheus questions, “What is the Matrix? Control. A computer-generated dream world built to keep us under control into to change a human being into [battery]”.
So, the previous world is just a dream that is programmed to turn people into soulless creatures who are followed by their instincts and senses, as well as physical needs.
To emphasize the threats that the apocalyptic world poses to a human race, the authors also provide an alternative definition of artificial intelligence, considering it as “a singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines.”
The majority of people are living in a computer system created by machines, which signifies to their desire to remain ignorant and stay away from the truth. Lack of independence and inability to self-motivate their lives leads people to self-destruction in the real world as well.
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While presenting the matrix, the authors refer to it as to “the desert of the real,” which means that human mind has been destructed by the automated world in which there is no place left for personal fulfillment.
As proof, one of the characters insists, “to deny our impulses is to deny the things that make us human.” Being human implies learning the truth and knowing who you are.
In the film, Neo acknowledges that, although the Matrix has provided him with memories about the previous life, he fails to understand his origins and purposes in life. In response, Trinity explains, “The Matrix cannot tell you who you are.”
So, even the computer-generated world seems to be more real than the one beyond it; it is still dictated by electric impulses and robots that prevent people from learning the truth.
The apocalyptic world created by machines differs significantly from Zion, “the last human city” in which people are liberated from the influence of machines and in which they are confined to objective reality.
When acting in a computer world, people recognize themselves as false perceptions and are manipulated by wrong impulses. So, the movie represented an allegory on the real world that is overwhelmed with media-driven information distorting the genuine matter of facts.
While describing the dystopian future, the authors create a clear confrontation between science and religion. Specifically, science has captured the human minds by manipulating them and depriving them of faith.
In the movie, the authors introduce Neo as the savior and compare him with the religious leader, Jesus Christ, whose “…coming would hail the destruction of Matrix, end the war, and bring freedom to our people.”
At the very beginning, the author makes a direct reference to religious motifs, by associating Neo with “savior…personal Jesus Christ” whose mission is to rescue humankind from oblivion. People living in the world do not realize the consequences as soon as they apply them in practice.
In response to it, Morpheus mentions, “sooner or later, you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” Therefore, the main hero takes the role of a prophet who has a strong belief in what he is doing.
The power of believing is strongly associated with fate. In the search for the truth, the heroes are striving to believe that there is a rescue from the machine expansion.
In this respect, Neo functions as a guide which should help people find the truth and show “…the world without rules and controls without borders and boundaries. A world where everything is possible”.
So, as soon as the mind is liberated from computer influence, it is capable of believing in something beyond their capabilities. Indeed, the new dystopian world makes people convinced that people are restricted in their potential and that their mind is not able to develop.
At this point, Morpheus assumes, “The body cannot live without the mind,” by focusing on the necessity to liberate the human mind and achieve harmony. Once, again the emphasis is placed on spiritual freedom.
In conclusion, The Matrix depicts a complex philosophical picture of the Post-apocalyptic world in which human minds are controlled by the machines. Such a world deprives people of freedom of choice and, therefore, belief in their powers is lost as well.
Machines have captured human consciousness and have become a dominating force in controlling their lives. Therefore, the world described in the movie is bad because it prevents people from taking control of their lives and self-determining their paths.