Custom «Transformation: Post-Humanist Identities in The Matrix» Essay Paper
The Matrix is an astounding film not just because of action sequences and special effects but also the ideas knighted inside the storyline. In a single sentence summary, “the central plot of the film is based on human rebellion against machine technology (artificial intelligence) that has succeeded in taking over the earth and extracts its power source from men” (Clover 8). The movie narrates about the ecosystem of the earth under severe devastation by exploitation of humans. For the most part, only machines are accorded the capability of living in that real world. The small number of cyborgs and humans are engaged in a fight for survival and overturning the reign of machines. The picture shows a competition between different worlds. Ideas and themes communicated in the film by Larry and Any Wachowski have inspired critical analysis as a common excitement since its becoming a hodgepodge of literary theory, science fiction, world religions and popular culture (Moore 14). On the other hand, Science-Fiction Film by J. P. Telotte has sparked a broad overview of genres of the film that has been revealed to symbolize reality of postmodern conditions ranging from cloning to cyberspace, global capital to global village, and metropolis to theme park (Vacker 228). This paper is a discussion of how the Wachowskis depicted postmodernism by the adaptation of Telotte’s approach on postmodernism in interpretation of science fiction films.
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The characters in the film are the ones expected to exist in postmodern world. The Matrix features cyborgs and resistance fighters as the main characters who paint a real picture of social justice and democracy embraced by radical kind and humans’ development of its identities and maturation. This important feature of postmodernism is evidenced by the trend taken by the modern world itself. It is also certain that the postmodern world would be harbored by sophisticated machines, such as robots, drones, computer networks, and advanced artificial intelligence. Existence of such techologies would definitely challenge human wits. Evolution and development have been found to threaten arrogance of species (Moore 24).
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Free thinking is a basic feature of postmodernism illustrated in The Matrix. The film depicts transformation in human thinking characterized by failing to conform but seeking to stand out and break free from unconscious attitudes and perceptions holding them as well as many dated ideologies that have become a form of oppression. So far, a human mind is repelling belief systems whose roots can be traced from long time in history, such as religion, no wander that such practices as homosexuality are now acceptable. According to Telotte, post-modern world is the one that has transformed human life (Vacker 228). From the film, the identity of foundational cyborg is the fact they have been ‘unplugged.’ For instance, characters are constantly reminded of this issue because their skin has plugs embedded inside. Unplugging implies that they made a decision of consuming a red pill rather than a blue one. The pills serve as an excellent metaphor of connection exhibited by activists/educators with their students. Its ability to awaken them from slumber tells volumes of human liberation from previously held mindsets. The Matrix begins with a scene where a typed message reading “Wake up, Neo” is shown on Neo’s computer depicting a call towards new identity (Clover 6).
The film brings out the truth of how humans are transformed to be similar to cyborgs. The latter refer to complex human beings of postmodern society known for high technological advancement. In the Eastern countries, such as Japan, high-tech is the order of the day. They increasingly get used to portray cyborgs in the last three decades. Today, people live their normal lives deeply enjoined to modern technologies of different sorts, including cell phones, computers and TV (Fisher 44). According to Warwick, a cybernetic philosopher, putting surgical electronic implants in human brain in order to link it to the Internet and computers is not something of science fiction anymore but a factual occurrence. It is a rapidly increasing tendency, especially among the young generation, to be born and brought up in a cyber world predominated by the logic of machines. Undoubtedly, this circumstance has contributed to evolution of different type of human beings which can be termed as ‘posthumans’. A sample of these species is shown in The Matrix. A radical cyberpunk challenges the minds of many in this age prompting a serious question, such as what is a human and past that, a cyborg, or a post-human. Whether interesting or unpleasant, this is what is depicted in The Matrix: namely, giving a real picture to many viewers about the nature of post-modern world (Fisher 49).
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In efforts to critically analyze The Matrix, attention is drawn to self-formation evolutionary process of these post-modern humans considering an identity revealed by the unplugged red pill. This issue is clearly exemplified in Neo. It is imperative to note that these characters do not represent ‘humans’ as many tend to think since they do not embody the criteria for critiquing humans, that is racist, sexist and classist, to mention a few. Indisputably, the Wachowskis present cyborgs to the modern world or one can term them as beyond humans. They are under compulsion to sacrifice certain attributes of humanity and are mandated to come up with new and super-human capacities. It means that even as the world moves towards post-modernism, certain personalities that make human beings distinct can decease to exist, such as kindness, integrity, love, and selflessness (Moore 38). Perhaps, it answers a question why there is increased lawlessness in the world today whereby many people think nothing other than how to do evil. For example, the West is spending billions of dollars on research on new technologies for killing people (Fisher 69). Therefore, the film brings to light how this evolution process sacrifices the natural aspects of human beings and brings the worst out of a man rather than good.
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