The Matrix

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Buddhism: In-Class Essay Assignment

Choose one (1) of the following seven (7) options and compose a 5 paragraph in-class essay of approximately 3-4 pages in length. Please double space and use both sides of the page.

Option 1:
Morpheus and the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar are often viewed as examples of Arhats and Bodhisattvas. Do you think this is an accurate portrayal? Explain your answer using three criteria.

Option 2:
Individual choices are highlighted throughout the movie and are an example of the Buddhist goal to eliminate ignorance. Choose three characters in the movie and discuss the choices that they were faced with and how these choices illustrate key Buddhist concepts.

Option 3:
Names are highlighted throughout the film and are used to further explain religious concepts as well as deepen the plot. Choose three names from the movie and explain the religious concepts that they are illustrating.

Option 4:
While The Matrix borrows heavily from Buddhist philosophy certain elements of the film seem out of place in that they directly contradict Buddhist ideas. Write an essay that highlights three of these elements and explain how they contradict the beliefs of Buddhism.

Option 5:
Throughout the movie, Neo/Mr. Thomas Anderson is often cast in a saviour role. Explain how Neo/Mr. Thomas Anderson is similar to and/or different from various saviour figures in the religions we have studied (i.e. Siddhartha Guatama, The Buddha, Jesus, Vishnu/Krishna etc.).

Option 6:
Which branch of Buddhism (Mahayana, Theravada or Vajrayana) seems to have inspired this film? Explain your answer using three different arguments.

Option 7:
Create your own question. Write out the question in clear language and have it approved by your teacher before you begin answering.
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