Is this all an illusion? Am I truly here on this planet revolving around the sun or am I a dream in someone else’s imagination? Is my mind my own or the extension of a large factory?
The movie The Matrix poses these questions with superb symbolism and poetic ideologues. Through the use of a futuristic world whereby a machine race has enslaved mankind as a renewable energy source, we both question our own existence and our purpose here on Earth. If we are but a dream inside of an elaborate world of dreamers, and controlled by image-makers is there any free will? How can we fight injustice and inequality if life is only a mirage? Perhaps we believe we are at battle but truly all is a simulacra; a construct of our minds and we are in conflict with our own alter-egos.
As the story unfolds we find ourselves intrigued by the young man, Neo who searches for something he calls the Matrix. Isn’t this a symbol of our own search for a spiritual existence in a technical world? As we further remove ourselves from a nature and find comfort and company ever more in electrical images does it not make sense that a quest for spirit would take place on the Internet? Yet when Neo delves deeper into this world of computers he finds not a God but a race of machines who have declared themselves God. So, does he embrace them and kneel before their alters? No! On the contrary! He joins a force which seeks to destroy their temples in a holy crusade. He is an unbeliever at first. He doubts what he cannot see or touch. But then again, what has he ever felt or touched that he can trust?
Morpheus says, “Welcome to the real world.” But Cipher quips, “Why didn’t I take the blue pill?”
Do we constantly take the blue pill? We wrap ourselves up in the digital world of computers, TVs, cellular phones, hidden behind cubicle dividers or car privacy glass. Hell, we could have hundreds of conversations in a day while never touching another living human being. Constantly cut off from real interaction with the world.
Although violence is often a gratuitous tool used by Hollywood to entice movie goers, the violence is essential to the plot in this film. As Neo combats the machine constructs within the digital Matrix, he must face his own doubts and fears thus seeing that there is more to his world than meets the eye. It becomes a symbol of man’s struggle with himself. It forces us to ask what is more important in the intellect versus the body or faith versus fact questions that have long plagued human kind. Do we live the life we choose or one of enslavement? Neo fights his way through and overcomes internal struggles in trying to discover who he is and where he is going.
Just like me.
About Laurie: The author of the recently released Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry, Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, and Forests Secrets. Laurie Woodward is also a screenwriter who co-authored Dean and JoJo: The Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet, and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at Author Laurie Woodward — Next Chapteria.net