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Neo's Journey in Real Life

In: Other Topics

Submitted By merwest94
Words 2049
Pages 9
Meranda West
Essay #1
Creation/The Hero’s Journey
Neo’s Journey into his Real Life The Matrix shows Neo as he travels through a journey into the unseen and unknown to learn the truth about the life he has been living. Neo, otherwise known as Thomas Anderson, goes through an intense journey with the help of his mentor Morpheus. Thomas Anderson, Neo, works for a high end company in the day but at night he is a talented computer hacker and doing his side job of selling secret computer programs. One night as he is asleep at his desk, a message pops up one his computer that reads “The Matrix has you…”. It goes further in telling him to follow the little white bunny. As some people come through to buy something from Neo, he is asked to join them for a night out on the town. At first he denies the invitation, but then he sees a little white rabbit tattoo on the back of one of their shoulders and soon accepts. The nightclub that he goes to with them is where Neo meets Trinity. Trinity acts as a herald to Neo in The Matrix because she is the one that takes him to meet Morpheus. She, in a sense, called him to the call of adventure by messaging him online and having him come to the nightclub. When Neo is taken to meet Morpheus, he is given a choice between taking a red pill and a blue pill. He chooses the pill that will “show him how deep the rabbit hole goes” and at this point, this is where the creation myth of the matrix comes into play. Morpheus explains to Neo that the world he lives in is called the Matrix and that it is basically an illusion that his mind is being tricked into seeing and all his life as he knows it is, is a simulated reality. Furthermore, he tells him how the Matrix was created. The Matrix was created after the human populations went to war against the machines that they had created. Within this time, humans blocked the machines from obtaining solar energy and darkened the skies. To make up for it, the machines began to harvest the energy from human body heat and electrical activity. In doing so, the machines leave the human minds trapped in side the Matrix, living in a false reality of what the world was rather than what the world is. Essentially, the humans are “plugged in” to the Matrix. Morpheus explains that because the human population is “plugged in”, they are no longer born but instead grown. Morpheus shows Neo this by plugging him in and showing him the truth.
Throughout the film, Neo goes through the Hero’s Journey as explained by Joseph Campbell. In the beginning of the film, Thomas Anderson is introduced to the audience as a lonely, sort of weird and out of place guy. It is obvious to the audience that Neo really does not know his place within the world just quite yet and that he seems to question the reality of his existence as he knows it. He is searching for something more within his double life as Neo the hacker and part of that something, is Morpheus. In the next stage of his journey, Neo is called to the adventure. This happens when Neo receives the call from Morpheus while he is in his cubicle at the office. Morpheus tells him exactly what to do and how to escape the agents after him in the building. However, right before Neo is about to escape, he changes his mind and begins the next step in his journey, refusal to the call (literally). Because Neo refused to do what Morpheus asked of him, Neo was soon arrested by the agents and “bugged”. Agent Smith tries to question Neo on what he knows, but Neo’s attitude makes Agent Smith make his mouth and lip disappear so he can make no verbal sounds. While on the topic of Agent Smith, Agent Smith acts as a shape shifter throughout the film. He, along with the other agents, can shape shift between men and other people casually walking on the street. They can also move incredibly fast and have a handle on the matrix. Neo recalls the event of being bugged but wakes up in his bed and believes it was all a dream. That same night, he hears from trinity again. Trinity decides to take Neo to meet Morpheus. Although Neo has been waiting for this, the circumstances in which he will be taken to meet Morpheus are not exactly his first choice. When the car pulls up, he immediately has a gun pointed at him. He is told “it is for our safety”. At first, Neo is completely skeptical of the entire situation and tries to turn away. However, Trinity pleads with him to get in the car so he does. While in the car, Neo is de-bugged by Trinity. Next in his journey, Neo meets Morpheus, his mentor throughout the entire film. At this point in the film, Morpheus tells Neo that he knows he is questioning things, things that he cannot explain but he knows that he wonders about them. Based on Neo’s reaction at this point in the film, one can see that Morpheus is right and that Neo himself is pleasantly surprised to how right Morpheus is. Morpheus presents Neo with an ultimatum. He has the choice to take either the red pill or the blue pill and continue life as he knows it or to see what the truth. Neo chooses to take the pill that will allow him to see the truth and at this point begins the next part in his journey, crossing the threshold. Neo is thrown into the real life of being used for energy. He emerges from his little goo filled pod completely terrified of what he has just been thrown into. He cannot believe what he is seeing. This part of the journey is short lived, as he soon awakes into reality of the ship where he meets Cypher, Switch, Mouse, Doser and Tank. With the exception of Cypher, these people are his allies throughout the film. They help him through his hard times. In my opinion, this is the part of Neo’s journey where he is considered to be “in the belly of the whale”, as Joseph Campbell put it. This particular part of Neo’s journey is considered that because Neo truly is in another world and no longer within the matrix. Outside of the matrix, Neo is confused and at one point even asks Morpheus if there is any way to go back. Neo lays on his cot appearing to be lifeless for days after the transition, simulating a death in a way. Next for Neo comes the road of trials. Neo goes through intense training programs. He is taught to do insane things like jump from building to building and do Kung Fu better than Jackie Chan. He is also taught how the matrix works, that everything around him is just the matrix and he can move as fast as bullets being shot from a gun. Neo travels in and out of the matrix with Trinity and the rest of his crew learning these new things and how to work his way around it. For Neo, the first part of his ordeal in the film was meeting with the Oracle. The oracle would be able to tell him if he was the “the one” or not.. When Neo arrives at the oracle’s house, he is surprised to see the small children and their amazing talents. The oracle is a little old woman that is baking cookies in the kitchen. She calls Neo into the kitchen to speak with him and she looks at his hands. In addition to looking at his hands she asks him several questions. Before she sends Neo on his way, she tells him that he is not the one and also that it would be his life, or Morpheus’. He is disappointed but when he goes to speak to Morpheus about it on the way out, Morpheus tells him that what the oracle said to him is between her and him. After seeing the oracle, Neo is disappointed and doubting himself. It is at this point in the film, that we also begin to learn of Cypher as the trickster figure. We see a scene of Cypher and Agent Smith out to dinner within the matrix and Cypher promising Agent Smith to lead him to Morpheus. When the entire crew heads into the matrix, this is where the real ordeal begins. The agents show up, of course, with the help of Cypher. However it is not yet revealed to Neo and the rest of the crew that Cypher is a trickster. As the agents fight Morpheus, Morpheus tells Neo, Trinity, Cypher, Switch, Mouse and Doser to ravel through the wall. They all travel through the wall and safely make it out. Now, looking for a way out of the matrix, Cypher travels a different route than the group and is the first one that Tank is able to pull from the matrix. This is where it is revealed to everyone that Cypher is the trickster figure. He shoots Tank and Mouse with an electromagnetic gun and calls Trinity. He reveals to her his secret jealousy of her love for Neo and how much he hates the matrix. He pulls the plug on Switch and Doser, killing them completely. Fortunately, Tank is a trooper and did not die with the shot. He is able to get up and shoot Cypher right back and pull Trinity and Neo from the matrix. Neo’s reward in this case was making it back alive and not being killed by the agents or by Cypher. However, this is not enough for Neo as he reveals to everyone what the oracle told him and insists to go back into the matrix. He begins his road back as he and Trinity both travel back into the matrix to save Morpheus. At this part of the film, he and Trinity walk into the agent’s building and really mess things up for the agents. They shoot all of the security and walk away without even a scratch. After saving Morpheus, Neo, Morpheus and Trinity make a run for it. However, Neo does not make it out of the matrix before the agents catch up with him. He is shot several times and what appears to be killed by the agents. Several minutes later, however, conveniently after Trinity kisses his lifeless body outside of the matrix, Neo returns to life and can see the matrix in all of it’s codified glory. This is the part in Neo’s journey that would be considered the resurrection. After returning to life and being able to see the matrix, Neo defeats the agents easily and is able to return back to the outside of the matrix. In Neo’s case, the “elixir” was nothing physical to take with him, but was the satisfaction that the agent’s knew he was “the one” and could easily defeat not only them, but also allow other humans to be unplugged into the real world. All in all, breaking down the movie bit by bit and really understanding the Hero’s journey and the different characters that go into the hero’s journey, one can see that The Matrix is not only a good example of a creation myth, but also of the hero’s journey. Personally I feel like The Matrix did a very good job of portraying Joseph Campbell’s theory of the hero’s journey. It showed all aspects of the theory and also most of the characters. Clearly, Neo was the hero of the story while Morpheus was the mentor throughout the film and Trinity was the herald. Cypher was the trickster and Agent Smith was a shape shifter. Neo’s allies were Switch, Trinity, Morpheus, Mouse, Doser and Tank. And lastly, in my opinion, the oracle acted as a threshold guardian because she told Neo he was not the one. That left him doubting himself and wanting to turn away from the remainder of his journey.

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