Essay on The Allegory of the Matrix

Submitted By tamy1593
Words: 1011
Pages: 5

Tamara Chaverri
Ms. Sherry Todd
LAL 101
October 17, 2013
The Allegory of the Matrix
Many older tales or stories have ideas or subjects that often become recycled into new entertainment or media for today. A superb example of this is exhibited within the Allegory of The Cave and the film known as The Matrix. Both the Matrix and The Allegory of the Cave are incredibly similar in their fundamental subject matter, yet have their differences when looked at under a microscope. Within The Matrix, Neo exists in complete ignorance of his world simply being a computer generated wonderland, as does the rest of humanity. Their day to day lives are simulated as if they still exist on an earth that has a functioning society and order as we do today. However, there exists a small group of people aware that the Matrix is a falsity, and merely a computer system. In The Allegory of the Cave, the ‘prisoners’ as they are so appropriately named, live in the cave in bondage. This bondage prevents them from turning their head to the mouth of the cave. Behind them exists a wall with a raging fire that casts shadows into the prisoners line of sight. And that is all that they are to ever know – shadows. This is the ‘prisoners’ matrix. The prisoners live in complete ignorance of the real world outside of the cave. And thus they name the shadows as they would have named the objects causing the shadows. Similarly, the humans in the matrix live on, ignorant of the serious deterioration of the world beyond theirs. All they know is the universe within their ‘cave’ known as the matrix. A major difference in these portions of the tales stems from the fact that in The Allegory, it is supposed that someone could be pulled from the cave. However Neo is in actuality given the choice to be drawn from The Matrix, with a group of the enlightened to fight against machines that have enslaved humans both physically and mentally. Humans are synced into the matrix, where their brains believe them to exist in this world from birth whilst their bodies outside the matrix are used as a power source. No threat is apparent in The Allegory, as the conversation is all theoretical in nature and only begs the question “what if?”
As previously stated, Neo is also given a choice to live in ignorant bliss, as in the story the choice isn’t presented to the prisoner(s). During the introduction to the film, you see Neo already holds doubt about the validity of his surroundings whereas The Allegory doesn’t explicitly say that an individual suspects there is a world beyond the shadows that he has called home. Unlike the film, the prisoners hold the ability to comprehend a world beyond. The Allegory discusses what would happen if a prisoner were to be pulled out from the cave. At first, the prisoner would not understand much less believe the ideas and objects set before him. The light of the outside world would be rejected as lies, since all he knew was what existed in the darkness. The movie covers similar material as Neo is pulled out from the Matrix, or his ‘cave’. Differentiating from the story, Neo is actually given a choice to continue living his life of blissful ignorance or to obtain ‘infinite wisdom’. It is stated in The Allegory that someone would, without hesitation, reject living with the falsities and beliefs of his fellow prisoners after being enlightened; however, Neo would have blurred memories in regards to meeting Morpheus and being given a choice to begin with. Choosing the blue pill would simply send him back to his apartment, where he would have just woken up from a dream with little to no knowledge of these enlightened characters, wondering if it was all true, as opposed to choosing to be liberated from the actual