Various aspects of an individual life are guided by different factors that are based on the culture, beliefs and the environment. As a result, the perception of things is steered by these factors that surround the daily lives of these individuals. These aspects are captured in the matrix and the allegory of the cave. The two literary works have more similarities than differences; this comparison is seen in the manner in which the two works address significant issues of life (Dew).
The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction film that portrays a future in which reality, as seen by the large part of the human population, is a simulated reality. This reality is generated by machines so as to subdue the population while using the human bodies to produce energy. The allegory of the cave is a literary work presented by Plato in his work “The Republic” (Viviana). The parable compares the influence of education and the absence of it in the human nature. These two works compare mainly in two significant ways.
The two compare in terms of the primary structure that carries the cause of the story. That is the slime pods in the Matrix and Plato’s cave in the allegory of the cave. The slime pods are similar to the caves as they are the main obstacles that hindered the people to see the truth. The truth is the actual reality; however, this structure generated an imaginary reality for the individuals involved. In the Matrix, the reality was created by the intelligence machines. In this regard, these machines made people be enslaved as they made people passive while their bodies were used to produce energy (Dew). Similarly, the cave hindered people to see the actual reality, which is the absolute truth. According to the parable, individuals were chained facing the cave wall; this made it difficult for them to turn their heads. There was a fire behind the chained individuals, and as a consequence they could only see the shadows of the persons walking in the caves. In effect, the prisoners assumed that the sounds coming from the individuals walking around were coming from the shadows (Viviana). The cave and the pods acted as a hindrance for the people to see the actual reality in its perfect form.
Moreover, the two works compare in the manner in which individuals will react after they are exposed to the actual reality. As established, the prisoners in the cave take the shadows of the images as the truth; as well, the individuals in the matrix machines received the truth to be what the machines wanted them to see. The big question is what will transpire when a person is taken out of the controlled environment. The questions are addressed through the matrix character, Neo and the hypothetical prisoner from the allegory (Dew).
Neo is rescued by Morpheus and Trinity; whereby he awakens after swallowing the pill. The truth appears to be difficult for Neo to process. It is painful for Neo to comprehend that all that he has known all his life is a virtual reality (Viviana). On learning the truth, Neo is faced with the responsibility of saving the mankind. According to the film, Neo is referred as the chosen one; people had been waiting and looking for him to deliver mankind from the machine slavery. This aspect of Neo in the Matrix parallels the perspective of the hypothetical prisoner who escapes. The prisoner will be astounded by the reality when he sees the fire and the figure as well as the outside of the cave (Viviana). However, after some time the prisoner will adapt and accept the new reality, which is absolute truth. Consequently, the escapee will gain the desire to free his counterpart enslaved in the caves:
“And when he remembered his old habitation and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change and pity them?” (Viviana)
Thus, the two subjects, although from different aspects of life, will react in a similar manner after they are opened to the actual reality. The subjects are both surprised by the difference between the virtual or dream reality and the actual or absolute reality. As a consequence, the individual will be pushed to help the others who are in the same predicament.
Influence on Democracy
The democracy refers to an avenue where the every person has an equal voice in societal matters. This aspect leads to the development of democracy governments; thus defining democracy as a form of government that allows participation of all citizens in choosing the government through free and fair elections. Democracy is built on the equality foundation, giving every individual equal rights and freedom, as well as opportunities (Dew). The Matrix film and the parable of the cave have some significant contribution to the democracy aspects of governance.
The allegory of the curve is built on the aspects of democracy. Plato’s work, the Republic, was mainly done in view of the democratic practices of Greece. Greece was a patriarch society; in effect, women were insignificant in society (Viviana). Women were highly discriminated, in that they had no rights to property or political matters. Plato was pushing for a democratic political system where both women and men had equal voices (Houlahan and rarr;). The women depict the prisoners held in the cave. The scenario made the women believed that their position in the society was as established the traditions of their culture. However, Plato’s work acts as an eye opener to the women. This acts as the prisoner who goes to rescue the other women. The Republic is the sign of the real reality, which the Greek women follow to arrive at the new era of democracy.
The matrix also has its part in democracy development. People are used to waiting to be told by the governments on what to believe. The dynamics of the current global governance people are subjected to different cultural changes. The mass media has defined various aspects of humanity. The issues of perfect body image force people to use products that are harmful to their livelihood; corporations market these products (Viviana). Although, many countries are run by democratic governments, the basic foundations of democracy are eroded by the interference of these corporations (Houlahan and rarr;). These corporations finance campaigns; thus corrupting the democratic systems. These organizations and their principles can be related to the matrix. The lobby groups that push for changes in governance can be viewed to play the Neo role. However, people face difficulty in accepting the absolute reality campaigned by the lobby groups.
Dew,. ‘Performative Matrix’. Thing.net. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
Houlahan, Mrs., and View →. ‘Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave–Does This Allegory Have Relevance In Our World Today?’. FTHS World Humanities Blog. N.p., 2011. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
Viviana, Corina. ‘EDUCATION FOR SOLIDARITY: Lesson Plan Based On The Matrix’. Education-for-solidarity.blogspot.com. N.p., 2011. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.