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Entering the ‘Matrix’

Updated on April 25, 2014


The Famous Spoon Scene
The Famous Spoon Scene | Source

The Matrix

The Matrix is one of the most classic modern films. It describes a fictive world of two realities. Exactly the word 'reality' and the perception of reality in the basis for most of the issues that are present in the storyline. The biggest issue which is challenged my the movie is that of the question 'What is real?'. Another idea depicted in the film would be the original invention of human bodies creating electricity to power machines, which is an extended image of the 'brain in a vat' thought experiment. Furthermore the question of changing reality is discussed near the end and that of viewing reality from a different perspective. Also the film questions the limits of reality and understanding the unreal and impossible. The Matrix questions all of these issues and leaves them mainly unanswered raising many questions amidst the viewers and letting the viewers answer them.

The Film & Philosophy

The film can be seen as a extended allegory of the 'brain in the vat' thought experiment or Plato's 'Cave allegory'. After humanity has reached near self-destruction every human is enclosed in a vat and generate electricity while living in a fictive world which is sent to the brains of the people. This questions our perception of reality and raises the question 'Does one know exactly what is real?', is what we see reality?, or as the matrix depicts is reality just electrical impulses going through our brain?Perception depends on many things such as vision, smell, taste, etc. These are so called elements of sense perception. Reality could be our ability to sense things, to see what happens around us. However one can never prove if reality is just our sense of maybe something else – a dream, fictive images, or maybe even nothing. Reality is what we perceive to exist. Furthermore the film depicts the “bending of reality, of ourselves”. The Matrix challenges our view on reality. And further expand Emannuel Kant's quote that 'reality is a dream' by showing that reality is only electrical impulses traveling through our brains.

The Famous Spoon Scene & Summary

n the spoon bending scene, Neo is taught that reality is only changeable if we change ourselves. We choose to accept what is real and what not. Another issue that is indirectly questioned in the movie is that of the original idea that human bodies could generate electricity, while living in a life sustainable liquid. This is the image of the 'brain in a vat' experiment enlarged. Humans live in a fictive reality of electrical impulses and nobody know the truth. This again challenges humanity's perception of reality.

To summarize, the Matrix looks at reality as sense perception from various perspectives and challenges our thoughts on reality. It modernizes further Plato's cave allegory and expands the 'brain in a vat' experiment. Through questioning many small issues, such as a humans vision or understanding of reality, it creates a situation, where the viewer must make there own solutions to the problem of reality. It allows many answers and awakens much thought among the audience to let people challenge their own perception and understanding of reality.

Does the matrix really exist...

Stop and think for a minute. Could such a matrix exist?

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A long, but very interesting film.


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