Note: As an assignment for English class, we were instructed to create a Neo-esque character to be inserted into the plot of “The Matrix”. The following was the character I wrote for, and the questions I struggled with from the start to the finish of the movie.
Aletheia: Communication #1:
Maybe I made the wrong decision. Is the truth worth all of the trouble I’m in? Taking that red pill, and “staying in Wonderland,” as Morpheus said, was probably the most important choice in my entire life. And I made that choice within a minute. Yes, the blue pill meant going back to my life, which was admittedly not great, but you know what they say: ignorance is bliss. Now I don’t know what I’m going to have to deal with. What if I can’t handle the truth? I mean, life was hard enough when I had a day job and a night job; now I’m getting a bug removed from my stomach. Or how do I even know that my life was mine? Someone could have been controlling my consciousness from the day I was born. There’s no way of knowing until I figure out this whole “Matrix” thing. Once I get outside of this bubble that I live in now, I’ll be satisfied. The only way to pop that bubble is through the red pill.
Aletheia: Communication #2:
I feel as though I’ve missed something. Nothing of importance stands out to me except one word: “dreamworld”. Morpheus and the others are intent on escaping this prison and leaving the Matrix behind. My sole concern is that the Matrix is all there is. Yes, I’m aware that the life I had lived was fabricated, something meant to keep me, and everyone I knew, sedated and content. But if I was dreaming then, how am I meant to believe that I’m awake now? For all we know, this “reality” could yet be another layer of the Matrix, where we’re meant to believe we know freedom.
This lie would be even more effective. Our defense is down once we believe we’ve truly escaped. How would we know if this entire situation- from the Agents to the Matrix itself- was dreamt up by someone studying human consciousness? We could have been an alien’s fourth-grade science project and we’d never know. Maybe even the robots themselves are lied to, programmed to believe that they have achieved consciousness. Does running around in the Matrix even qualify as consciousness? For all I know, Morpheus could have been programmed to escape the Matrix and lead the rebellion, creating a false sense of security for anyone else who dared to break out. Honestly, there are too many hypotheticals in this situation. In any case, how I got here is out of my control; right now I need to focus on staying alive.
Aletheia: Communication #3:
I’ve regained control over my life. I know that the cause for escaping the Matrix is just and reasonable but… when I go back into the Matrix, I see people who are happy, enjoying life. Would it be fair of me to rip this all away from them? Yesterday, I saw children playing in a park near the telephone box I needed to get to. They were completely oblivious to the world around them, perfectly content running around and playing tag. If there were some switch to flip that would free every human from the Matrix, I’m sure Morpheus would have done it by now. But the real world is a harsh place. Do children deserve to have their entire lives snatched away from them, even though it’s programmed? There is much less suffering inside the Matrix when you remain oblivious. I have the ability to free humanity from their invisible cage, but would people even want to leave? Cypher was able to escape the Matrix, yet he chose a dreamworld over reality. One thing remains clear: humanity should be given the choice. After all, the ability to make decisions is a freedom, and one that should be given to everyone. If I had been informed of everything, and then given the choice to stay in the Matrix or escape… I’m still not sure which path I would have chosen.