The Matrix = The Allegory of the Cave

I think the Matrix is a modern version of “The Allegory of the Cave”, written by Plato.

Nowadays we´re living in a society so rushed that it seems like we were machines instead of human beings. Everything happens at a speed that makes it difficult to tell if what we experience is reality or just a dream. That´s why, a long time ago a man named Plato wrote a myth that tried to describe the ignorance of men. In this story entitled “The Allegory of the Cave,” Plato describes a dark underground cave where a group of people are sitting in one long row with their backs to the cave’s entrance. Chained to their chairs since childhood, the only thing the prisoners could see was the distant cave wall in front of them. On this wall there were reflected shadows of statues been displayed by unseen ‘puppet handlers’. Their view of reality is solely based upon this rather limited view of moving shadows. This is what is real to them. It is important to note that the prisoners do not realize that they are being held captive, since that existence is all they have ever known. The theme of the allegory is that their reality is a poor copy of the real world.

So, that been said, here we have three important similarities. First of all in the Allegory men were chained to their chairs, forced to watch a reality created by other beings. In The Matrix all human beings are put into some kind of embryonic pods, where they also are forced to asume a false reality.

We can also say that in The Matrix, the ‘puppet handlers’ are represented by the machines, since they are those who manipulate the reality and maintain humans living in a lie.

Finally, we already know that in both cases humans live in a fantasy world believing that is the real one. They do not realize that they’re being fooled.

Well, those are the first similarities that came to my mind between ‘The Matrix’ and ‘The Allegory of the cave’, but these both stories are full of explicit ‘coincidences’ in their arguments. I’m sure that The Matrix is totally inspired by this myth written by Plato.


16. What is the main message of the film ‘The Matrix’?


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