Essay on Baudrillard and the Matrix

1177 Words 5 Pages
In 1999 Larry and Andy Wachowski wrote and directed an American science fiction action film called The Matrix. The movie depicted a future where many humans might perceive is real, is actually a simulated reality. The Wachowski brothers made many explicit references in their film based on the work of French sociologist Jean Baudrillard. In Jean Baudrillard’s essay entitled “Simulacra and Simulations” he mentions in his essay how society has replaced all reality and meaning with representation of symbols and signs. Baudrillard starts off with an example of Borges tale, “cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it ends up exactly covering the territory (but where, with the decline of the Empire this map becomes frayed …show more content…
He tells Neo “Welcome to the desert of the real,” “desert of the real” is a quote from Baudrillard’s essay that explains after the simulation has been taken away, we are left with our real reality, the reality that is decaying, leaving us with not much left.
“The reality itself erodes to the point that it becomes a desert” (Sparknotes). In this scene they are in a simulated reality with nothing but a blank, white room, with a sofa, and a television set. Morpheus has New York, as they perceive it, in the year of 1999 displayed on the television. It is shown as a busy, bright, a vibrant city. Then he switches the channel to how the world really is today, the year closer to 2199. How the world really is in the year 2199 is nothing but a depressing, broken down, “apocalyptic wasteland” (The Film Journal). It would seem that the Wachowski brother’s aim to illustrate Baudrillard’s concept in The Matrix was well put together. They made it very clear that their portayal of The Matrix is a “simulation” that derived from a “real reality” that is no longer rational. In otherwords, now that Neo has awoken to the truth, he could no longer go back to what he thought is real and see it the same as before.
“Someone who feigns an illness can simply go to bed and pretend he is ill. Someone who simulates an illness produces in himself some of the symptoms" (Littre). Thus, feigning or dissimulating leaves the reality principle intact: the difference

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