NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED447519
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Feb
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Another Face of the Hero: "The Matrix" as Modern Hero-Quest.
Stroud, Scott R.
This paper analyzes the interesting narrative structure of the hero-quest myth contained within the 1999 film, "The Matrix," and explicates the implications of this message upon the audience. Initially, the relevance of myth to movies and the format of Joseph Campbell's hero-quest is illustrated. This format is then applied to "The Matrix" in order to highlight its coherence with the traditional hero-quest. New theory must be advanced to draw ontological states of being out of the philosophies of I. Kant and A. Schopenhauer in order to describe the phenomenal, pre-noumenal, and noumenal states of being among characters in this film. This proposed theory describes how "The Matrix" adheres to the stages of the hero-quest--separation, initiation, and return. This film is shown to be a powerful myth for alienated and disempowered individuals in technologically driven communities such as the United States. The narrative impacts of this film upon the rhetorical community in which it is couched are explicated; the empowering and disempowering aspects to "solitary enlightenment" are displayed in an effort to promote and protect the affected community. The maxim of "justifiably killing disillusioned humans in order to save them" by the "enlightened individuals" is particularly troubling in regard to issues of community security. "The Matrix," grossing over $350 million in under a year, was a very successful film with sequels currently in production. Rhetorical critics must look at this modern hero-quest and examine what makes it so effective at appealing to our heroic appetites and what benefits and dangers it offers in regard to audience action and reaction. Contains 47 references. (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A