• Anthony Piseno

The Matrix Allegory



The Matrix has become its own classic over the past 21 years since its release in 1999 known for the flashy martial arts and sci-fi elements that were unique to audiences, the Wachowski's gave us a film many would never forget. The story of the hacker Neo (Keanu Reeves) being "the one" and his discovery that human beings are being harvested like batteries for a machine ran world captivated everyone and left us asking questions about our own reality. While the artificial reality hypothesis has always been a peculiarity of philosophers never had a film blatantly present it in a story. However, it isn't the simulation I am interested in or even the overtly Christian themes but the allegory written within the story.


Plato has become synonymous with philosophy hardly anyone can her the Greeks name without thinking of those with such a love for knowledge. Interestingly, one of Plato's famous philosophical ideologies was referred to as "The Allegory of the Cave," directly attached to his notion of "the forms" (objective truths). Plato believed that everyone was born in a cave exposed to shadows of objects that were projected by a fire, these shadows represented truth but were not the truth themselves. Eventually, through teaching, one would break free from the bonds of the cave and emerge from it to experience the true sunlight and the true objects, in other words, the objective truth.

That being said, The Matrix represents the same allegory, it is a false world a shadow the real objective truth being cast through a digital fire into our consciousness all the meanwhile bounding us the hypothetical cave. When emerged Neo is blinded by a light and refuses to accept the objective truth when it is all revealed to him by Morpheous, this too is part of Plato's cave, claiming that some will not be able to bear the light and will return to the cave. Although Neo fights this and does as Plato suggests needs done, return to the cave to save others hence The Matrix Reloaded. I am not a huge fan of the film in terms of a movie but for this philosophy I love it, it's currently available on Netflix along with the dreaded sequels.

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