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The Characters in The Matrix Essays

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The Characters in The Matrix

The Matrix (Wachowski & Wachowski 1999) is a battery powering an unending chatter of thought, images, productions, and discourse. In the film, a stabbing needle penetrates the black plug mounted on the back of a human skull, and the mind is overwhelmed by the matrix, an extensive simulacral world that, to its unknowing inhabitants, is in every way the same as reality, and to those merely passing through, is a sinister, green-tinted prison. The film sets, by dialogue and symbolism, a place for analysis, theology, theory, philosophy, and criticism that accommodates any stance within a language of freedom, choice, perception, reality, simulation, mind, computer code, and body. Rationalizations of and within these terms get a place at the table. This setting incites discussion as it limits it. For instance, we have a ready means to discuss what knowing a thing really means, but we are in less of a position to discuss how such paranoia gets off the ground. However, the accessible philosophical vocabulary everywhere present in the film ought not overwhelm our resources to move amongst the dimly legible codes and technologies of the cinematic body and world – the stylized sequences of events that produce the reactions in a viewer that give the film meaning. In this capacity for aesthetic indulgence – and contrary to the theoretical window dressing of the script, The Matrix makes an audio-visual presentation that reformulates agency as a matter of effect rather than choice.

Thinking it

Everyone knows the movie is full of really captivating philosophical questions. Why is it that, when you’re hurt in the virtual world, you bleed in the real world? Very heavy stuff. The film is easy to transla...


... middle of paper ...


... visible when at a computer than in everyday non-solitary life.
Your mother is not watching.

[11] In a sense, this pre-9/11 movie set the stage for a kind of sympathy Americans had
with terrorists who they could not call cowards. The appeal of a boldness to do
what they said out of nowhere and going nowhere is revealing of what disciplines
such style juxtaposes itself to.

[12] Or machines or computers to bring back the specter of “the place of technology” in
the matrix. Idealized guns, though, are what make the movie go. Guns that never
jam, are always beautiful, and are better tossed than reloaded. They are the
almost the only way to kill anyone, they are always stylish and specifically
chosen, and they make the same comment on how to get your way that the characters
do: threats and violence.


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