Reality, Media and the Role of Human Nature in the Truman Show and the Matrix

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Humanity always had an urge to control what they see in the environment. They wanted to be in charge of the nature firstly and they managed that generally by creating tools, from a pointed stick to a death trap for animals. This urge to control needed to find new targets throughout its lifetime for the nature had already been conquered. Mankind’s motivation to own and manipulate its surroundings led to the inevitable: conquest of other societies. They used newly made machines in their wars; invention of steel, firearms, airplanes and missiles all occurred because of this expansionist urge of control. Wars were bloody but effective ways of control; however, anyone can claim that the physical wars are not the way to control and conquer the contemporary world, but a new and more vicious but less apparent way has been introduced to us in the last century: media. As mankind developed many ways to overcome the vicious webs of control throughout the history, the only thing that can stand up against media’s manipulative behaviors is the intriguing nature of men.

Media has severe control mechanisms on people, and it can be easily said that media is the biggest influence on our lives today. Imitated and therefore stereotyped lives have gained importance. The machines and media have done this hand in hand. By developing technological advancements, media started to become more and more widespread. Mass media’s creation can only be possible with technology and machinery. The movies The Truman Show and The Matrix brought a new critical and almost prophetical perspective to new technological mass media, and its manipulative behavior. Both movies deal with virtual reality and a world of dreams and lies, and both of them give their message quite similarly: with the help of a well-known allegory.

The allegory is nothing but Plato’s cave. In his book The Republic, he has a conversation with Socrates about an imaginary scene that a group of people who lived chained in a cave...
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