“The Matrix” and “the Allegory of the Cave”

Category: Culture
Date added
2021/03/16
Pages:  5
Words:  1444
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Unable to know any better, people’s blindness to the truth about their existence throughout the ages has been relative to the questioning of reality. We search but are unable to see the truth through the illusion that the world before us has portrayed. One might ask, how do we know what is real and what is simply an illusion brought by out subjective view of the world? But when attempting to understand the nature of our existence, about why we are here, the complexities of life often make it difficult to interpret this subject. The film The Matrix centers on this same concept that the known world is an illusion. The movies core theme of reality and illusion is definite to the human understanding of what the true meaning of life is. Skepticism deals with a person’s belief and if the person can truly trust their senses. As Plato, Descartes, and the creators of the Matrix express in their writings and movies is the possibility of a person’s senses being deceived as there is no proof that the five sense of the person’s body is not being altered as the senses are all processed within the mind. There is no proof that the whole world is real, but people have to trust in their senses in order to believe this. However, these senses of sight, smell, sound, and so forth could be tricked.

To be told what you know will build up a boundary what you think you know. In both the Allegory of the Cave and The Matrix people were told by enlightened ones what the truth is about life. “It is the task of the enlightened not only to ascent to learning and to see the good but to willing to descend again to those prisoners and to share their troubles and their honors, whether they are worth having or not. And this they must do, even with the prospect of death” (368). Although the subjects found it hard to believe in it one day, would find out that the truth isn’t just what is known, but it is what will be learned. The Matrix also shows how people think when what is actually placed in a reality, it is tough to know that and become a bit freaked out. Both the prisoners of the cave, and Neo from the Matrix, have to transcend on the path of ‘enlightenment’ to know the truth of their own worlds.

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Furthermore, in comparison of The Matrix and Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, within the film we find a character by the name of Neo and his struggles in adapting to the truth to reality. Neo is told to meet with Morpheus, the educated one to discuss something important. Later on Neo has to make a choice to pick one of two pills. One pill will erase all memories from them meeting and he will go back to his normal life. The other pill will introduce him to what life is really like. In other words, it was almost as if he was in a dream and he would be awakened. Neo selects the pill which will show him the truth and he is awaken but in much pain. This would resemble the Light which will be discussed later. After being awoken, Neo is told about how robots are controlling people for energy and how he is the one who must learn to bring down the machines and set people free. Neo does not believe anything because he had been in such a false living for so long it is hard what to believe. After enough time and learning Neo ends up realizing that he is the one and helps the human race defeat the machines.

In the story Allegory of the Cave, the people are held in a cave and are shown shadows on a cave wall. Plato also describes an example of people conforming to the norm they were born into and then shows the results of a person emerging from this community into a completely new and different world. He describes a dark underground cave where a group of people are sitting in one long row with their backs to the cave’s entrance. Chained to their chairs from an early age, all the humans can see is the distant cave wall in from of them. The shadows of statues held by unseen ‘puppet handlers’ reelect on the walls from the light of a fire that is also out of sight of those in the cave. The theme of the allegory is that their reality is a poor copy of the real world. According to Plato, our world is nothing but shadows, imperfect manifestations of the forms. Similar to the prisoners of the cave, the human trapped in the matrix (the cave) only see what machines (the modern day puppet-handlers) want them to see. The prisoners are tricked into believing that what is heard in the cave and seen before them is the true reality that exists. Furthermore, with accepting what their senses are telling, and believe that what the experience is all that really exists, nothing more. The movie not only incorporates these similar ideas, the story line of the move parallels to that of the allegory.

Purpose is a primary difference between the essays; New Superstitions for Old takes a more academic and educational approach. This can be seen through Meads quote, “for we know that a natural event has natural cases” (318). Margret mead suggests that the reader is an educated individual who has the ability to comprehend the link between natural causes and effects. This recurring theme can be seen again when the author says, “Superstitions, however, belong to the category of beliefs, practices and ways of thinking that have been discarded because they are inconsistent with scientific knowledge” (319). Humans with superstitious minds are those who show belief in superstitions.

In Plato’s Allegory of a Cave he describes an example of people conforming to the norm in which were born into and then shows the results of a person emerging from a community into a completely new and different world. After an educated person learns about these objects in the outside word, he is supposed to teach the people who are still in the cave. Unfortunately, when this educated person tries to explain about the shapes no one will believe him or her. This is because all that the prisoners have ever known is right before them being projected on the cave wall. This shows that when people are in their comfort zone they don’t want to leave it. This is the same way in the Matrix. When Morpheus tries to tell Neo and he docent believe him it is the same things as the educated person trying to tell the non-educated people about the shapes. These people are supposed to be able to think out what these characters are and put names to these shapes. After a while the tough people who are holding the others to teach them take one person outside and shown the objects that were posted on the wall. On his way up to the surface to see these objects, the person will see the sun for the first time so that the journey is hard and steep. This shows that education is not easy.

The Matrix and the Allegory of the Cave focus on one central idea: What is real? They engage the audience in a fictional world where people live in false realities without knowing it. They make us question our own knowledge. Their storylines connect in that the protagonist discovers that everything he knows is a big lie and now he must discover the real truth. Something that both characters had to think about in the Allegory of the Cave and The Matrix is that the truth for what we learn can be very hard. In both The Matrix and The Allegory of the Cave, the characters are held in a false reality. All characters had a certain belief or comfort zone that they direct want to leave. This shows that even though you think about something really in debt, the way you may be living just might not be real. In conclusion, Plato’s story of the cave brings up many philosophical points and most significantly, addresses the topic of society’s role in our lives. On some level, we are all influenced by the thoughts and actions of everyone else, but at the same time, we as humans have the ability to question, make our own conclusions, and finally make our own choices.

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"The Matrix" and "the Allegory of the Cave". (2021, Mar 16). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/the-matrix-and-the-allegory-of-the-cave/