Stereotypes in the Film The Matrix

analytical Essay
2401 words
2401 words

Stereotypes in the Film The Matrix

The purpose of this paper is to expose some of the stereotypes present in the film The Matrix, directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski. In order to accomplish this we shall see that although The Matrix is considered to be a film about rebellion, it contains several stereotypical portrayals, which actually make it a film that supports the status quo. We shall also see that the African American characters in The Matrix (the Oracle, Tank, Dozer, and Morpheus) are all depicted in the stereotypical servant roles. Furthermore, the women (Trinity and Switch) in this film are portrayed stereotypically; that is, they are either reduced to a caring/nurturing role or they simply help make up the background (they do not have a voice). Finally, Morpheus’ initial power and leadership is stripped away leaving him to play the stereotypical supporting and buddy role.

The Matrix is considered by many people to be a cyberpunk triumph. Declan McCullagh from writes: "When Neo/Reeves wakes up from his VR slumber and unplugs from The Matrix, he joins a ragtag band of rebels led by the charismatic Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne). Their plan: To overthrow the artificial intelligences that have robbed humanity of reality" (McCullagh). Entertainment weekly also sees The Matrix as a movie about rebellion against oppression: "Neo is, of course, The One, the prophesied leader of the oppressed who will lead the people of Zion (an underground city populated by the last free humans) from bondage--but only if he can believe in himself and trust in the power of love" (Bernadin).

Therefore, although the film appears to send a revolutionary message of a rage against ‘the machine’ or the matrix and its oppression, ...

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...premacy should be the starting point of a renewed movement for racial justice" (hooks 118).

Works Cited

Bernardin, Marc. "The Matrix" 1999. <,1683,846,matrix.html> (14 Apr. 2000) [address has moved to: <,6115,270871~2|7696||0~,00.html> link updated by Dr P. 30 Oct 2002]

hooks, bell. Killing Rage Ending Racism. New York: Henry Holt, 1995.

McIntosh, Peggy. "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack," in Race, Class, and Gender in the United States, ed. Paula S. Rothenberg. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.

McCullagh, Declan. "The Matrix: A Cyberpunk Triumph." Wired News. April 02, 1999. <>

Wolf, Naomi. The Beauty Myth. How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women. New York: William Morrow, 1991.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains bernardin, marc, "the matrix" 1999.
  • Explains mcintosh, peggy, and rothenberg's book, "white privilege: unpacking the invisible knapsack."
  • Explains that wolf, naomi, the beauty myth. how images of beauty are used against women.
  • Analyzes the stereotypes present in the film the matrix, directed by andy and larry wachowski.
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