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Symbolism in the Matrix

Neo, living in New York City finds himself living an unsatisfactory lonely life working an eight to five.  All of this changes when he meets Trinity who lets him know that a man named Morpheus believes that Neo is the chosen one, who can help bring end to the Matrix in which all human beings are trapped in.

The movie takes a turn when he meets the Oracle.  Early on in the movie, Neo states that he doesn’t believe in fate because he does not like being under the feeling that he is not in control of his life.  The Oracle subconsciously helps Neo’s quest to discover his potential by not revealing his future to him.  Instead, she “shows him the door, [Neo] has to walk thru it.”  An interesting use of cinematic language is how the Oracle spends most of her time talking to Neo sitting down looking up at him suggesting that Neo is an authoritative figure.  


An interesting prop used during this scene I noticed was when the Oracle gave Neo a cookie at the end of their discussion.  She told him, “Oh, don’t worry about it.  As soon as you step outside that door, you’ll start feeling better.  You’ll remember you don’t believe in any of this fate crap.  You’re in control of your own life, remember?  Here, take a cookie.  I promise, by the time your done eating it.  You’ll feel right as rain.”  In my opinion, the information she leaves Neo is symbolized thru the cookie.  Since the Matrix is a computer program, the information he acquired from the oracle will help him on his journey in self-discovery.

The only definite insight into the future the Oracle gives Neo is when she tells him, “You’re going to have to make a choice.  In the one hand you’ll have Morpheus’ life and in the other hand you’ll have your own.   One of you is going to die.  Which one will be up to you.”  Sure enough, later in the movie Morpheus is held hostage for information.  Neo realizes that he doesn’t have to accept this as fate and he overcomes his mental limitations against natural laws in the Matrix to help rescue him and thus reassuring himself as the ‘chosen one’.

In Zion, the harsh living conditions the rebellions have to live in help captivate the audience notice Neo’s character development as he learns to master his skills in the Matrix.   Cypher seems to serve as a symbol of hopelessness by working against the rebellion even thou he is well aware of the predicament.  The audience is more so connected with the vast difference when his attitude of “Ignorance is bliss” plays out in him pulling other members of the rebellions plugs out while in the matrix, and hence killing their real bodies.  The quick cut from the unconscious bodies laying still, to having them die as soon as the plug is pulled helps the audience connect the audience between the two ‘worlds.’cypher



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