What is Post-Modernism, functionalism & Marxism? What is ‘The Matrix’? And what have these three got to do with ‘The Matrix’? These questions are very difficult to answer some would say and others wouldn’t have much of a problem. Firstly, Post-Modernism, some claim, is replacing modernity. It’s being done by the loss of faith in science and rationality. These types of thoughts developed mainly from the 1980’s onwards and increased sceptism about theories of a better future. However these thoughts are in a relativist position, which denies that there are absolutes in any area of human knowledge.
People believe that social positions of the informer are informed. Secondly, Functionalism means “structures, which fulfil the objective to maintain a system”. This basically means functionalists try and maintain order and peace in society. Lastly there’s Marxism. This is totally the opposite to a functionalist perspective. Marxism tries to create conflict between people and it always picks up on the negative views within society or organisations. You’re probably thinking what has all this got to do with ‘The Matrix’?
Well, ‘The Matrix’ as we all know was one of the biggest hit films in America and the UK. It is all about the future and what the world is really like. How it’s seen through selected individual’s eyes. Keanu Reeves stars as ‘Neo’ in the movie, and ‘Neo’ means the one in a foreign language. The Matrix is known as a system, a computer. The Matrix basically being the Planet Earth. At the start of the movie ‘Neo’ is an ‘everyday’ individual, working with computers for his living until he begins to receive eerie messages on his PC and peculiar phone calls.
This shows a functionalist and working class perspective as he’s an ordinary guy and lives a normal life earning money for his living. After this Neo is given an instruction which said to ‘Follow the sign’. The sign being a white rabbit on a females shoulder. Here we can see that this is completely un-natural, who hacks into computers and telephone lines to show a dull message? At first he was totally against going further with the matter but then he didn’t no what to do. This shows a Post-Modernism type of view as he’s undecided in what he wants to do. However ‘Neo’ was very curious and he decided to follow the sign.
This again shows a form of Post-Modernism as he wants to know what’s behind all these ‘Signs’. Having followed the white rabbit he’s led to a club where he meets a lady called Trinity who begins to show Neo things he’s never seen before. After all this Neo wakes up in his bedroom, as if nothing has happened but he still remembers everything. So this is a type of modern view, bringing Neo back to the ‘Truth’ and ‘Reality’ part of the universe. The following day he meets again with this lady named Trinity and she shows him ‘The One’, Morpheus. Morpheus is the leader of the group at present.
Neo is taken into a room where he is given two options, one where he has the option to take a red pill or the other where he takes a blue pill. The red pill keeps Neo in the ‘fantasy’ land and the blue which takes him back to his normal life where he forgets everything. Neo decides to take a really big chance and stay in the land of fantasy and takes the red pill. This shows a major type of Post-modernism, wanting to know more, wanting to know about other realms, and basically being really curious. It also shows a modern
Having taken this pill Neo is ‘Re-Born’ in a totally different way and is picked up by this strange looking creature and is thrown down this shoot to the other crew members. A number of people would definitely say this is creating a Jesus like sense; being ‘Re-Born’ and again this could cause conflict between some groups. So Neo decided to leave his ‘modern’ style life and live in another ‘Realm’. A few tests are run on Neo and he is given the all clear through Morpheus. Neo meets all his other crew members, some of their names being Tank, A-Poc and Switch.
After this Neo is taken to a computer program where he battles with his leader Morpheus, Neo begins to realise he can do things he had never done before, such as fighting Kung-Fu style. Some may argue that this is a type of conflict or Marxism as he is being taught how to fight. Neo is also taken into a computer program where he is told to jump between two buildings which a really high and really far apart. Morpheus shows him how to do it, Neo tries to believe he can do and jumps. However he was unsuccessful, so this is trying to make Neo believe something he cannot do at the moment.
So he fails the jump but is still alive as it was only a computer program. Neo begins to believe even more. Neo is taken back to the crew where he sleeps. Later on Neo is taken on a mission with his crew into ‘The Matrix’ where they are attacked by ‘Agents’, these are people who are against Morpheus and would take any measure to kill any one of them. In a way this shows reality because there are some people out there who are willing to kill an individual at any expense. The group could be a Marxist group because all they want to do is create conflict between each other. Again some can argue that Neo’s group are doing the same.
Neo and the rest manage to escape excluding Morpheus, who is beaten and taken away with the Agents. Again this is a Marxist perspective as the agents are trying to create conflict. The only way of exiting ‘The Matrix’ is by receiving a phone call on selected telephones. These phones take them back to the ‘Real World’. This is a post modernist point of view as this wouldn’t normally happen in the world as we know it. Tank manages to get back safely and decides to cause a big problem. He agreed with the ‘Agents’ that he would do anything to get out of the ‘Real world’ and return to ‘The Matrix’.
This is definitely a Marxist view, as he is trying to create conflict whereas the other crew members are trying to create some form of order in the ‘Real World’ while they battle it out with tank. Unfortunately for tank he is defeated and the rest manage to get back safely. They all begin to panic about Morpheus because they know that if anyone dies in ‘The Matrix’ dies in the ‘Real World’. Neo decides its time for him to shine and takes the matter into his own hands. This again can be seen as a functionalist perspective as he wants to create order but in order to do this he is going to create conflict.
He returns to ‘The Matrix’ along with Trinity and seeks out Morpheus. The two groups battle it out and finally they reach a result. Neo defeats the ‘Agents’ and realises he had powers which he never knew he had. However, Morpheus dies and Neo takes over the role of being ‘The One’. Overall we can see that there are functionalist, Marxist and Post-Modern perspectives throughout the whole of the film. Some for good, some for bad, but which are which is for you to decide. At times it’s about your own personal views or opinions.