The Matrix: Fear of Technology in a Dystopian World
Millions of people flock to the movie theater year after year on a quest to be entertained. Even a mediocre movie has the ability to take the audience to another place, escaping the realities of their own life, if only for a mere two hours. Some movies are simply pure entertainment. And then, there are those movies that provoke conversation long after the film has been viewed. Dystopian themes are not new, and have historically provided a template to gage the course of human existence. The Matrix portrays a society where humans exist without freedom. The film is not only entertaining, but also thought provoking. It paints a world with two different dimensions, one with the mind numbing constraint of technology, the second with endless possibilities and free will. When closely examined, a world very much like today’s. The Matrix uses technology to dominate humankind, by implementing a socially stabilizing virtual reality program, thus warning that humanity’s obsession with technology can weaken the mind.
In The Matrix, technology dominates society. The push to automate and link the world is a perpetual theme of modern society. As technology rapidly advances, implementation of computer-driven robotic devices and software programming has inundated the world and changed human perspective. There is a cost to pay when redefining the population with AI technology. This cost is identified in Barlett and Byer’s, “Back To The Future: The Humanistic Matrix” “The Matrix metaphorizes our willingness to fantasize that the ‘freedom’ rhetoric of e-capitalism accurately reflects our
reality and our propensity to marvel to our technological innovations even in the face of mass alienation and social malaise” (31).
Throughout The Matrix, the characters show a distrust of technology. Their previous lives have been consumed by technology. They are literally imprisoned by the program; plugged in like a socket. The disruption of natural order in the world has stifled nearly the maturation of the human species. Neo is shocked when Morpheus reveals the true condition of the planet, “There are fields, endless fields where human beings are no longer born. We are grown.” Technology has annihilated their nature habitat and replaced it with their mechanical breed. Through the war against AI and humans, machinery replaced natural resources and Earth became a barren wasteland. This is a slow building mimic of the world today. Machines and technology control the natural resources in the world: water flow, electricity, and natural gas. If and when there is a major failure, society has become so dependent upon the technology that controls these resources that the result would be catastrophic.
The fear of technology is another recurring theme throughout the film. The “unplugged” humans have retreated into hiding. Neo takes refuge on the ship, Nebuchabnezzar, but constantly needs attempts to avoid detection by the Sentinels,...