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The Matrix and The Allegory of the Cave

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Juliana Brittis

on 30 September 2013

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Transcript of The Matrix and The Allegory of the Cave

The Matrix and
The Allegory of the Cave
The Allegory of the Cave
What is an allegory?
-a symbolic narrative
Plato describes a scene in which there are human beings living in an underground den since birth, chained by their legs and necks so that they cannot move. He calls the people keeping the prisoners captive "puppet masters."
Behind them is a fire and a "roadway" or passageway.
Men walk by on this passageway, some of them speak, some are quiet, and they carry various things like pots and statues.
As they walk by, they cast a shadow on the wall in front of the prisoners.
Because the prisoners only have seen the shadows and sounds from the shadows, they are unaware that there are real men creating these images.
Since they know nothing else, they believe that the images are reality.
SO if a prisoner sees a dog cast upon the wall, he calls the shadow "a dog."
But isn't he just referring to the shadow, which believes to be a dog? He has no idea that a dog has another meaning.
But what happens if one of the prisoners is released from the cave?
A prisoner is unchained, and he turns around to face the light coming from the entrance to the cave. He sees the people and objects on the roadway and is confused.
If a dog walked by in front of the released prisoner, would he be able to name it and recognize it as a dog?
What would he believe to be more "real" or "true"--the shadows he has always seen or the passing objects on the bridge.
What would happen if a prisoner was unchained, and dragged up out of the cave?
Because he's never been in sunlight, his eyes will hurt and he will be unable to see. After a few moments, his eyes will adjust, allowing him to see around him.
At first, he will see the shadows around him clearest. Then, he will see the reflections of objects and people in the water more clearly. Finally, he understands the difference between the shadows and reflections with the objects in their true form.
The freed prisoner then remembers his old life in the cave and feels saddened and pity for the others still in the cave.
What happens when he returns to the cave?
The prisoners, knowing nothing more than their life in the cave, would believe that the freed prisoner was insane and that his eyes were corrupted by the outside world.
They would ironically, find the freed prisoner stupid.
Finally, the prisoners promise one another that if anyone tries to unchain them and lead them up to the light, they would catch the offender and put him to death.
What's the moral of the story?
used to describe our nature of education and our WANT of education
discusses human's limitations in obtaining knowledge
knowledge gained through the senses is FAULTY and only a shadow of the truth
The Allegory vs. The Matrix
Humans are trapped in the Matrix
The Matrix=The Cave
"You are a slave Neo, like everyone else you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind."
"No one can be told what the Matrix is,
you have to experience it for yourself."
Shadows on cave wall=Matrix Coding
The Machines=Puppet Handlers
Neo takes red pill and he becomes unchained
Neo=Freed Prisoner
Plato insists that we who are freed must make it our duty to go and educate others and inform others
Neo is now responsible for saving humanity from widespread ignorance and the acceptance of a false reality
Are we living in the cave today??
How does this relate to media studies??
Everyday, we are presented with tons of images in the media...
Do you believe everything you see?
How do we decide which images to believe and which to call an illusion?
Is the media our new cave?
Are we the prisoners?
Media, especially TV and Internet, have a huge part in creating our reality...
Television: The News
The media inundates our lives with various slants on stories, while often times misrepresenting the
pertinent issues, events and people. Instead, the media invokes its own opinion in an effort to tell the
truth, while striving to achieve high ratings in order to sell advertising. Honesty in society has become
scarce as the media sensationalizes scandal after scandal. The media forces us deeper and deeper into
the cave while we are presented with the media projecting images for us.
Television: "Reality" TV
News Outlets
Full transcript