The Matrix Essay Research Paper Reality Bytes

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The Matrix Essay, Research Paper Reality Bytes: A journey through perceptions of reality in ‘The Matrix’ and the technological world. The idea for this dissertation arose from the culmination of a number of thoughts that have interested me for some time. The question of ‘reality’ has always intrigued me. I perceived it as tangible and exact but at the same time intensely vulnerable. I saw the frailties of ‘reality’ exposed by the many differing ways it can be perceived. These differences of perception can be attributed to factors such as age, sex, colour, nationality, religion, political views, all of which alter the way we process what are presented to us as ‘facts’ by our senses. So numerous are these factors, I reasoned, that every person living, or that

has ever lived must have a unique sense of reality. A point of perception so tailored to his or her own identity that it could never be shared exactly with anyone else. Having considered this idea, I arrived at a primary solution that there was no such thing as a shared reality. Furthermore, the word ‘reality’ should only be used tentatively and only accurately in relation to a specific individual’s view of a subject. However, having arrived at this conclusion I became aware that allowing individual realities was not a solution, indeed it merely raised more questions. The brain is a complex organ relying on naturally produced endorphins and chemicals such as seratonin to maintain a state of perceptive normality, if this chemical balance is altered then the individuals

perceptions of reality are also subject to change. How is the reality of the individual affected if they are suffering from depression? Is it the bleak or the hopeful that forms the reality for that individual? How are we to view the differences that occur in the mind when intoxicated through drink or drugs? These were complex factors that I realised would need addressing in order to solve the ‘reality’ question. Having run into issues high above the plains of my idle considerations I mentally shelved the problem and it was not until the summer of 1999 that questions of reality were raised once again. My reason for questioning reality once more was the release of the Wachowski Brothers film The Matrix. This science fiction film presents the idea that the world around us is an

illusion. What we perceive to be reality is in fact a computer simulation (called The Matrix) which is inputted directly into our brains making us believe that we are living normal lives when in fact our inert bodies are providing heat to power the machines which, after years of human service became intelligent enough to have taken over the world. In addition to the basic questioning of reality within the story line, The Matrix explores the importance of other areas concerned with perceptions of reality such as dreams and fate. Coming as it did at the very end of the 20th century, The Matrix as with many works of fin de si?cle deals with the ultra-modern and an apocalyptic view of the world. At a time when the end of an era is approaching, especially an ending/beginning as hyped

as ‘The Millennium’, subconscious fears abound. While advances in technology have left us less to fear than ever before in terms of injury and disease, technology itself fills the void. In this case, The Matrix deals with the common fear of an over dependence on machines. At a time when the world at large was concerned about the effects of ‘The Millennium Bug’ machines turning on humans was a valid concern and it was this aspect that also interested me. While not c ncentrating on the likelihood of machines taking over, the growing part they play in constructing and maintaining our realities is important to consider. Where do we draw the line between what we perceive as ‘reality’ and a computer generated representation that may be more ‘real’ than the original? In