Parallels between The Movie, The Matrix and Plato's Allegory Of The Cave

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Parallels between The Movie, "The Matrix" and Plato's Allegory Of The Cave

In Book VII of The Republic, Plato tells a story entitled "The Allegory Of The Cave." He begins the story by describing 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 from an early age, all the humans can see is the distant cave wall in from of them. Their view of reality is soley based upon this limited view of the cave which but is a poor copy of the real world.

In addition to the chained people, there are other people in the cave. Plato refers to them as the puppet-handlers and they are the ones holding those in the cave captive. (It is important to realize
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In "The Matrix," the puppet-handlers are the machines spawned from a singular consciousness called AI (Artifical Intelligence.) Basically, the puppet-handlers in both cases use artifical surroundings as a way to control and manipulate the information that the prisoners receive.

And while the prisoners are being fooled and influenced by the false reality presented to them, so too are the puppet-handlers, to some extent, because they are also living inside the artifical world they have created as well.

Note how towards the end of the "The Matrix," Agent Smith, a computer simulation, begins to express human emotions such as anger and hatrid. Since he has to live in the false reality of the matrix, the agent has begun to adapt to his environment, the very prison-like surroundings he helped create for his captives. In fact, he is becoming more and more like the enslaved humans that he is despises.

The Shadows

The shadows in both stories play a crucial role in shaping the prisoners' view the world. In fact, it is the shadows (which are only half-truths) that serve as the basis for the prisoners' false or distorted sense of reality.

The repetitive use of mirrors and reflected images in the move "The Matrix" serve to remind us of this fact.

In "The Matrix," the machines use "shadows" (series of code which together make up the matrix world) to occupy the humans and keep

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