Please relate The Matrix (original movie, first of the trilogy) to a topic we co
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Please relate The Matrix (original movie, first of the trilogy) to a topic we covered
regarding Plato or Descartes. Find some analogy in the movie to the
epistemology/ontology associated with Plato or Descartes and use those scenes and
their corresponding pages from our text to develop a compare and contrast essay – your
topic sentence (thesis statement) will (hopefully) become clear as you do this, if it isn’t
before you start the writing process.
Please do NOT use the “Allegory of the Cave” reference found on the
Internet and elsewhere (…you would be plagiarizing).
The following are just quick ideas I have put together to get some of you started, but
you are not restricted to them:
* The themes of appearance and reality as well as that of skepticism are very
appropriate. Do we know what is really real? The Matrix shows an alternate scenario
regarding reality. What can be experienced in the matrix are “copies” of the things in the
real world (and things in the visible world are “copies” of the Forms, in Plato’s view).
* Descartes offers an account of dreams; the computer simulation depicted in The
Matrix makes us wonder if we could be living in a dream world. Descartes states that
“there is no philosophical proof that at any given moment one is not dreaming…”
(Palmer, Edition number, pg xx). The producers of The Matrix imagined something
similar to the dream hypothesis (Dream Skepticism – Descartes) possibility. Morpheus:
“Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were
unable to wake from that dream, Neo? How would you know the difference between the
dreamworld and the real world?” In the movie, as Neo is stumbling over the truth,
Morpheus asks “what is real?” in an attempt to emphasize that reality is sometimes
more than we can see. Sensations of smell, sight, touch and taste are just electrical
signals placed in the mind (The Matrix, xx:yy). As Morpheus asks Neo “Do you think
that is air you’re breathing?” (The Matrix, xx:yy), Morpheus is helping Neo realize that
what he was experiencing back in the matrix is not real, that the life he has known is
only a long “dream.”
* Neo wakes up and asks Morpheus why his eyes are hurting, to which Morpheus
answers that his eyes hurt because he has never used them before. There are two
worlds, reality and what we perceive to be reality. One is real, but people in the
simulation cannot realize there is a real world out there. “The matrix is all around us. It
is a world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth…that you are
a slave Neo, like everyone else, you were born into bondage…a prison for your mind.”
(The Matrix, xx:yy)
* Neo asks Morpheus what happens if one dies in the matrix and Morpheus
responds that if one dies in the matrix, one dies in the real world and adds that this is
because the body and the mind cannot function without each other. What are the views
of Descartes on this topic? You may wish to visit a few pages at the beginning of the
Ontology chapter, under dualism – or simply not choose this last topic for your essay!
Consider your class notes of references to The Matrix I made and will make in lectures.
Now make notes as you watch the movie again. Identify scene times in preparation for
the essay; it will then be pretty straightforward to write the essay as you visit those
scenes again. Think, consult our text and your class notes – discover more related
themes and scenes. You will choose a topic presented in both your readings and the
movie and will expose it by comparing and contrasting it.
You may ONLY use our textbook ( Does the Center Hold? Author: Palmer Edition: 7th (6th edition is acceptable and the movie ( THE MATRIX) as sources for your essays. Use
two textbook citations: Palmer, Edition number, page numbers (in parentheses at the
end of the relevant quote or paraphrasing), to provide some foundation for your topic.
Use two scenes from the movie. When using the required movie scenes provide the
relevant scene times (e.g. The Matrix, 00:45 to 01:15 – this means from 45 seconds of
the beginning of the movie to one and a quarter minute) as you would do with page
numbers – that is your scene citation. Do not include a bibliography page. If you use an
unofficial (not the seventh) edition of Palmer’s book, please make sure to specify which
edition and NOT to use the Allegory of the Cave passage present in some older
editions! If no edition is specified, the Seventh will be assumed and used to evaluate
Please use a standard (Times New Roman) 12-point font and double-space. Margins
should be standard (about 1 inch). No need to stretch margins or increase font size,
since we go by the number of words. Your essay must be between 750-1000 words; I
know it is a very short space, so get to the point right away. This is not a movie review.
In fact, I do not need to find out how much you liked/disliked the movie.
Gordon Rule (GR) Requirements
Your essays must (1) have a clearly defined central idea or thesis; (2) provide adequate
support for that idea; (3) be organized clearly and logically; and (4) utilize the
conventions of standard edited American English. Please highlight your thesis
statement, the key sentences in each supporting paragraph and that in your
THESE ARE THE LESSONS COVERED IN CLASS ABOUT PLATO AND DESCARTES