Compare and contrast The Matrix with the readings from Plato and Descartes

  1. Compare and contrast The Matrix with the readings from Plato and Descartes. What are some similarities and differences?

After watching the film matrix and reading Plato and Descartes, I realized that they are both similarities and differences between the books and the film. In my opinion, the Matrix was more similar to Plato’s cave allegory because in the end characters from both stories escape their false reality. In all the three stories, persons were unconvinced about reality-what it is and what it is not. The characters from all three stories also wanted to leave what they thought to be reality and find the true reality. However, there are also differences between the film and the two literatures. Plato’s cave was controlled by human beings, The Matrix was controlled via a computer and Descartes world was controlled by what she perceived to be demons. In this paper I will compare and contrast Plato’s Allegory of the cave and Descartes Meditation I with the film, The Matrix.

In both Plato’s and The Matrix, individuals come face to face with the power manipulating them and after a confrontation, they are set free. In both, the characters have been manipulated by the power since they were born and they do not know any other reality. In both Plato’s and The Matrix, the characters are bound to their current situation. In Plato’s they are bound using a chains in a cave since birth while in The Matrix the individual is bound in pod. In both these stories, the characters are fed with fake realities since they were bound. In the Plato’s cave, shadows are used which the characters believe to be real while in The Matrix characters are fed with images that keep them in a dreaming state. The difference in both stories is how the characters come into realization about the fake reality they were living in. In Plato’s cave, the individual is set free by the will of his capturer’s. After being released, he starts to see what reality is and pities those left behind in the cave as he pursues happiness. However, the main character in Plato’s cave begun to question his current reality before he even knows there is life outside the pod. His controller allows Neo to choose between finding the true reality and staying in the pod reality. He chooses to find the true reality and after he has found it he comes back for the others trapped in the pod. Another difference is that in Plato’s cave, he who had seen reality never wanted to go back but Cypher in the Matrix wanted to return to the pod reality because he was accustomed to it.

The similarity between The Matrix and Descartes is that individuals in both stories begin to question their current reality. The controllers in both stories use dreams to make the individuals perceive a certain reality. In Descartes the controller is a demon while in The Matrix, the controller is a computer. Descartes described dream like situation to be so clear that it resembled a waking state. Neo felt the same way about his dream reality. The big difference between Neo and Descartes was that Neo finally questioned his reality and Descartes questioned his reasoning instead. In the end, Neo was able to find the real reality while Descartes was not.

All these three stories bring us to question our reality in the world. Is it the true reality or is someone controlling us to think it is the true reality? Is the there another true reality? Are we Descartes or are we Neos? Will we go on a quest to find the true reality or will we question our reasoning like Descartes? I personally belong to the Descartes school of thought and believe that the reality I am in is the true reality not the false reality.

  1. Can we prove that the world we are experiencing is real? How do we know we are not dreaming, living in a Platonic cave, or trapped in some sort of matrix?

Plato, Descartes and The Matrix have us doubting the truth about our perceived reality in the world. How do we know that we are not dreaming or trapped in a Matrix like Neo? Well the answer depends on how we view things. If you view this from the human point of view, it is impossible to prove that we are not dreaming. The human brain sees what it has to see therefore it is hard to prove that we do not exist in false reality. However, we can tell we are not dreaming because we fall asleep and wake up every morning. In our sleep we have dreams and after dreaming we wake up. From a spiritual point of view, we believe there is God. When God created everything on earth He never said we were dreaming. Since God is not a deceiver, then our current situation is a true reality and there exists no other.