This was an actual paper. I wrote it for a real class.
The Morpheatic View Of Reality And How It Validates The Matrix
1. Is The Matrix Reality?
Morpheus is a freedom fighter, the leader of a band of humans willing to re-enter the Matrix, to attack its programming, to fight and to die in the name of all humanity. They are champions of the right to Reality, the right of humans to live free of the machines. But are they correct in their definition of reality?
Morpheus and his crew believe that the Matrix is not reality, because they know it to be based within a computer program, their experiences within it easily manufactured and manipulated.
Neo, newly awakened from his brain-in-a-vat existence, learns to accept this position. Standing in the white space of the Construct, he runs his hands over the back of an old red leather chair and asks, “This... isn't real?”
“What is real?” Morpheus responds. “How do you define real? If you're talking about your senses, what you feel, taste, smell or see, then all you're talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”
Neo is apparently too overwhelmed to bring up the fact that Morpheus has not answered his question, and the message he receives is that no, the chair is not real. When he goes to visit the Oracle, the child in the waiting room tells him that there is no spoon, and by this time Neo believes this so readily that he is able to manipulate the programming of the Matrix in order bend the spoon. He never considers the implications of Morpheus' oblique response, but I think that those implications are important to consider.
Is the Matrix reality? Are the experiences a person has within them real?
That line is not drawn by Morpheus himself, but by one of his disciple-like crew, Trinity, when she is forced to beg Cypher for her life and the lives of her shipmates. “The Matrix isn't real!” she says.
“Oh, I disagree, Trinity,” Cypher responds, neatly and immediately. “I think the Matrix can be more real than this world.” The murder he then commits in order to prove his point only underscores the weakness of Trinity's assertion, and touches upon what would seem to be the blank page in Morpheus' teachings: if the Matrix is not reality, and the Real World is, what makes them so?
If, according to Morpheus, both places are experienced within the human mind as mere electrical signals, what makes the one reality, and the other only illusion?
In the absence of a clear answer from Morpheus, I believe that both the Real World and the Matrix are realities, and this can be proved through the character of Agent Smith.
2. The Morpheatic Distinction Between The “Real World” And The Matrix.