The Matrix and The Allegory of the Cave
In "The Allegory of The Cave," Plato thinks that one of the prisoners would eventually be released or escaped from his chains and flee the cave. After turning around in his chair, this person would then be able to see the real objects that are only shadows on the cave wall, as well as the puppet-handlers who are holding these objects. In the movie, "The Matrix," this scene directly parallels with Neo's scene in the matrix pod. Looking around in shock, Neo sees, for the first time, his true surroundings. He is actually living in a human factory.
At first, Plato says that the freed prisoner would be confused at what he saw. When Neo is finally confronted with the surrounding, the real world, he is in a state of uncertainty. The realization of the truth is so overwhelming that he throws up and passes out. In "
According to Plato, the freed man must have started to question what he saw in front of him and wondered about where the shadows came from. He must have sensed that something was wrong and he wanted to know the truth. This theme is also found in the movie, "The Matrix." Neo is very much like the freed prisoner. As Morpheus tells Neo, "You're here because you know something." Morpheus realizes that Neo has a place in society and is there because of what he knows.
People who live in the false reality do not know any other way of existence other than that which they experienced. The person who is freed would want to share his discovery of the real world with those still trapped in the cave, but he would not want to go back to live there. In the end, his desire to help those trapped in a lie would lead him back to the cave in order to educate the prisoners. This describes the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar as well since they return to the matrix in order to accomplish their long-term goal of freeing mankind from Artificial Intelligence. The prisoners in the cave, however, can in no way comprehend what the person who has returned is telling them about the world outside the cave. This would prevent others from leaving the cave, and the person who returned failed in his attempt to educate them about the real world. The prisoners would rather kill a man than allow someone to take them out of the cave. They would fight to remain in the cave because it is the only world they have ever known and would not want to become "crazy" like the first person who escaped and then returned with ideas that seemed ridiculous to them. The idea of murdering to remain in the false reality is also present in "The Matrix" when Cypher kills several members of the crew in order to return to the matrix. His mind was not able to entirely let go of the world that existed only in The Matrix. Also, Morpheus tells Neo, "You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it."
"The Matrix" has similarities between the artificial reality and religion, Christianity in particular. One of the clues is the name of the ship: Nebuchadnezzar. In the Bible, Nebuchadnezzar was a Babylonian king who ended King David's line of great kings. Also, Morpheus is perceived to be God the father, Neo is thought of as God the Son, and Trinity is the Holy Spirit. The characters in "The Matrix" fight against the Artificial Intelligence that would control them. Most Christians would be wise enough to wake up, throw down their mind shackles, and have the disbelief that will, eventually, set them free.
The many parallels that exist between the two works of art show that the creators of "The Matrix" at least had knowledge of Plato's "
In conclusion, Plato's story of the cave brings up many philosophical points; and, most importantly, it addresses the issue of society's role in our lives. We are all, to some degree, influenced by the thoughts and actions of others, but, at the same time, we have the ability to question, draw our own conclusions, and make our own choices. Trinity tells Neo, "The Matrix" can not tell you who you are." It seems that the differences between "