The Matrix Hero Journey
By: Nathaniel McCallum and Noah Makar
Throughout this presentation we will be going through the different stages of the heroes journey.
Naive: Neo acts naive in many situations throughout the beginning of the movie. Examples of this are when Trinity says “Hello Neo,” and Neo is clueless to how she knows his name. Another is when Trinity says “Right now, all I can tell you, is that you are in danger. I brought you here to warn you,” And Neo is very confused, asking questions such as “who is?” when told that he is being watched, and “of what?” when she says he is in danger. Throughout this meeting between Neo and Trinity in the nightclub, Neo is extremely confused as to what is happening. One more example is when Neo is on the phone with Morpheus in his office building, guiding him away from the agents. Neo asks questions such as “Who’s coming for me.” This shows how he lacks wisdom towards his situation.
Ineffective: There are many examples of Neo being ineffective in this stage of the film. One example is when Neo is trying to escape the agents chasing him through his office building, and Neo fails to jump to the scaffolding. He fails to do so, saying “No way, no way, this is crazy,” and “This is insane! I can't do this! Forget it!” He is then captured by the agents and interrogated. An example of him being ineffective during his interrogation is when Neo says “Yeah. Wow. That sounds like a real good deal. But I think I have a better one. How about I give you the finger,” and “You can cram that file up your secret service sphincter.” This shows Neo being ineffective as he could have easily reasoned with the agents and put himself in better circumstances. Instead, the agents plant a bug inside his stomach and seal his mouth shut.
Neo is also unenlightened, saying things such as “Am I dead,” when he first awakens from being trapped in the Matrix. He also says “Morpheus, what's happened to me? What is this place,” as he first sees Morpheus in the real world. This shows how uninformed and confused Neo is. Another example is when Neo says “Right now, we’re in a computer simulation?” showing how lost he is, know understanding what is happening around him. One more example is when Neo is challenged to jump a fifty foot gap between buildings. Even though Morpheus does it with ease, Neo fails to do so. One more example is when Neo is speaking to Morpheus about agents, and says “What? Are you trying to tell me that I can dodge bullets?” And Morpheus replies with “No, Neo. I'm trying to tell you that when you're ready, you won't have to,” this emphasizes that Neo is not ready and still has lots to learn.
Abyss: The abyss happens when Morpheus is captured by the Agents and Cypher starts killing members of the crew. He pulls the plug on Switch and Apoc, killing them. He also shoots Tank, Dozer and Mouse, killing all but Tank.
Cypher: All I do is what he tells me to do. If I had to choose between that and the Matrix, I'd choose the Matrix.
Trinity: The Matrix isn't real.
Cypher: I disagree, Trinity. I think that the Matrix can be more real than this world. All I do is pull a plug here, but there... you have to watch Apoc die.
Tank eventually comes around and manages to kill Cypher with his own gun, right as Cypher is about to kill Neo. Neo now has to make a decision, go back for Morpheus, or let Morpheus sacrifice himself for the crew.
Giving: Neo makes the choice to go after Morpheus because the Oracle told him that he is not the one and that Morpheus would sacrifice himself to save Neo, but since Neo thinks he's not the one, he goes back and saves Morpheus because he believes Morpheus is a more valuable asset to the cause than him. This is showed by the conversation between Neo, Tank and Trinity
Tank: Neo, this has to be done.
Neo: Does it? I don't know. This can't be just coincidence. It can't be.
Tank: What are you talking about?
Neo: The Oracle. She told me this would happen. She told me that I would have to make a choice.
Trinity: What choice?
Trinity: What are you doing?
Neo: I'm going in.
Trinity: No, you're not.
Neo: I have to.
Trinity: Neo, Morpheus sacrificed himself so we could get you out. There is no way you're going back in.
Neo: Morpheus did what he did because he believes something I'm not.
Neo: I'm not the one, Trinity. The Oracle hit me with that too.
Trinity: No, you have to be.
Neo: I'm sorry, I'm not. I'm just another guy.
Trinity: No, Neo, that's not true. It can't be true.
Tank: Neo, this is loco. They've got Morpheus in a military-controlled building. Even if you somehow got inside, those are agents holding him. Three of them. I want Morpheus back too but what you're talking about is suicide.
Neo: I know that's what it looks like, but it's not. I can't explain to you why it's not. Morpheus believes in something and he was ready to give his life, I understand that now. That's why I have to go.
Neo: Because I believe in something.
Neo is finally believing in himself, and is trusting the guidance that Morpheus has
Enlightened: Using the training and knowledge given to him by Morpheus, Neo goes back into the matrix to rescue Mopheus. He is finally starting to believe that he is the one, and with this belief, he is able to defeat the agents, something no one else had ever done. The crew also starts believing in him, and they all realize that he is truly the one. In Neo's last lines he says "I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you."This is his promise to us that with his new-found power, he will try and defeat the machines, and set humanity free. He now realizes the threat the machines pose, and it is his job to set things right.