“I just want to go home.” I don’t think that Dorothy was the only one who felt this way. I think that Neo also felt like this way after getting his first true glimpse of what the Matrix truly is. After having the ultimate question answered, I don’t think it produced the answer that Neo wanted to hear. Dorothy and Neo’s dreams seemed to hold appealing answers, when in truth their answers had turned to nightmares. Everything Dorothy and Neo had dreamed of turned out to be not what they expected. Dorothy or more specifically, The Wizard of Oz relates to The Matrix in many more ways than just exploring their dreams. The power of gender, the uniqueness of race, and the truth of idealism are portrayed in this film as they relate to the film The Wizard of Oz.
Just like in The Wizard of Oz, women are very important characters in The Matrix. Dorothy is the main character who has to find her way home after arriving in Oz. Many females in The Matrix have to find where their own paths lead as they look for “the one.” The Matrix starts to portray women in a very different light than in previous films. It gives them power and authority. One of the most important characters in The Matrix is Trinity. Just like Dorothy, she is given power, and she is portrayed as unbeatable. She is not only powerful, but also smart. From the very beginning of the film she gives off a sense of being the boss. She is given the rank of “ranking officer” on the Nebuchadnezzar. She is also shown to be very smart when Neo reveals that she is a brilliant hacker. The film starts at that point to show where she is underestimated. Neo says to Trinity at the club that he “thought [she was] a man.” Neo is saying that he thought the brilliant hacker couldn’t be her, because she was a woman. Throughout the film Trinity is given more power. At the end she finally saves the day by admitting she loves Neo. Letting a woman, in a man’s world, save the world men try to own is, if nothing else, a statement of the power of a female. Another female in this film is also given power. The Oracle is given power too, even though it is not the same power Trinity possesses. The Oracle in this film is trusted and admired by many people. They look to her for guidance and help. Another powerful character in this film is the red lady that Mouse created. She is given the power of taking over the minds of men. She brings out their true nature of an irrational human being and fills them with lust. After trapping them, she then turns on them and makes them forget their missions and purpose. She is powerful in the way that she can show men where they lack in stature. Finally, an important female is presented at the very beginning of the film, even though she doesn’t seem important at first glance. The woman that Neo sells black market information too is very important. She is portrayed as a dirty slut, but without her Neo would never have found Trinity. The dirty slut was important because she was “the white rabbit” Neo followed. I think the film did this to show that appearances can be deceiving when it comes to women. Many men see women as just something to lust towards, but that is not what makes up a women. Women, as previously shown, are also powerful, intelligent, guiding, and finally underestimated.
Flying back to The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy was not the only one who was important in Kansas. She had her many friends help her on her journey. These friends were very different in appearance to Dorothy, but they all brought their own unique abilities. Race is portrayed as powerful, just as women are in The Matrix. Dorothy is joined by the scarecrow, tin man and lion in The Wizard of Oz. They each present her with their own unique ways of helping her get home. In The Matrix, Neo is also helped by many different kinds of people from many different backgrounds. The first and most important person to help Neo is, of course, Morpheus. Morpheus helps Neo find himself. He helps him realize that he is the one by always believing in him. He never gives up on Neo and is always there to guide and comfort him when he is lost. He is also portrayed as important because he is the captain of the Nebuchadnezzar. Being captain, though important in itself, is also highly useful because he has control of the codes to Zion. This is why the agents are after him. If they get the codes from Morpheus, they can seek out and destroy Zion. Once Zion is destroyed there will be no more resistance and they can leave the “matrix.” Another important character who is from a different background is again the Oracle. She helps to also guide Neo and show him that he is the one. The last two characters who are shown to be important are Dozer and Tank. They are important because they aren’t like the rest of the shipmates; they weren’t grown by the machines but born in Zion. Tank is definitely portrayed as important because he saves Neo and Trinity from Cypher. He also is highly skilled at running the “matrix” and helping them while they are trapped inside.
As we wake up from our dream in the “matrix,” we can again see the similarities to The Wizard of Oz. Oz, as a place, is just like being in the “matrix.” It is an illusion. In The Wizard of Oz this is portrayed as a dream, but in The Matrix it is portrayed as a “prison for your mind.” The world in the “matrix” is a fabricated lie that is taught to all the humans to keep them fertile and useful for the machines. This place is not real, but everyone thinks it is. Neo has a hard time accepting that this is what the “matrix” is because he doesn’t believe in fate. He likes to believe he is in control of his own life. Believing in the “matrix” would mean accepting that something else is controlling what he does and who he is. Experiences in the”matrix” are only illusions though. Since dreams aren’t real, then the “matrix” isn’t real. Throughout the film, different characters try to clue us into knowing that they are living in a dream world. Before Neo even learns he is in the “matrix,” the guy he sells black market cds to tells him that “we don’t exist.” Also, right before Morpheus tells him he is in the “matrix” he gives him a hint by talking about dreams. “Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake up from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?” Morpheus tells Neo this to try and prepare him for the fact that the world he thinks is real, is just a dream. So, the entirety of this movie is based off illusions. Everyone on earth believes that these illusions are real, so does that make them true. In The Matrix the illusions aren’t true because the outside, or everything that is not in the “matrix” is true.
This film goes much farther beyond just heroics, fancy action scenes, and cool graphics. It portrays a world that is an illusion to all. It also puts people who are not sometimes recognized for what they can do and gives them power. It gives females the power of intelligence, strength, and not being underestimated. It also gives different races positions of power and making them completely unique from others. The plot, characters and themes presented in The Matrix bring us far beyond what many people see. It shows us the truth of what our society has become and gives us judgment. It asks society to choose to stay the way it is, as people who are under the illusion of equality and fairness, or to choose to act and show what we can really do for each other. It tells us to wake up. I choose to wake up, just like Neo does. I choose the blue pill.