Baudrillard and the Matrix

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In 1999 Larry and Andy Wachowski wrote and directed an American science fiction action film called The Matrix. The movie depicted a future where many humans might perceive is real, is actually a simulated reality. The Wachowski brothers made many explicit references in their film based on the work of French sociologist Jean Baudrillard. In Jean Baudrillard’s essay entitled “Simulacra and Simulations” he mentions in his essay how society has replaced all reality and meaning with representation of symbols and signs. Baudrillard starts off with an example of Borges tale, “cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it ends up exactly covering the territory (but where, with the decline of the Empire this map becomes frayed and finally ruined)” (365). He is explaining how there is an impeccable map rotting whereas the territory on the map still remains. He goes on to explain “it is the map that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map” (366). This story is to point out that our modern society is playing the role of the map, which is self-destructing and the territory is representing the simulation. He clarifies that simulation is “the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal” and “hyperreal: the simulated generation of difference without any distinction between the real and the imaginary” (Lecture slides 3/6/12). One very obvious scene in particular that clearly shows the existence of Baudrillards’s argument being incorporated into the film is at the beginning of the movie where Neo opens a copy of Baudrillard's “Simulacra and Simulation.” The place where Neo keeps his black market software ... ... middle of paper ... ...with its own twist. Works Cited Baudrillard, Jean. "Simulacra and Simulations." Ed. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. Literary Theory: an Anthology. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2004. 365-77. Print. Vartan P. Messier . ”Baudrillard in The Matrix: the Hyperreal, Hollywood, and a Case for Misused References.” The Film Journal. 2004-2006 The Film Journal Wikipedia “Watergate Scandal” Jim Rovira, Drew University. “Baudrillard and The Matrix Trilogy” Subverting the Mechanisms of Control: ©2003 IMDB “The Matrix” <> Sparknotes <>

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