Five Things You Didn’t Know About “The Matrix and the Alice Books”
by: Voicu Mihnea Simandan
1. The genesis of a book
The Matrix and the Alice Books is an intertextual study of the film The Matrix and the books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. The initial research for the book was done as part of my two-year master’s degree studies in Bangkok. I have probably seen The Matrix trilogy over one hundred times and having the book in my hands has brought my longtime obsession with The Matrix and the Alice Books to a satisfactory conclusion. Now it’s time for the world to read it and dive down the rabbit hole and explore a world where the boundary between dreams and reality is blurred by some of the most remarkable and memorable fictional characters ever to appear on the pages of a book and on the screen of a TV.
2. Lewis Carroll as an inspiration
The world Lewis Carroll created in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass had a great impact on me and, as a child, I often found myself slipping down my own rabbit hole under a pillow-made castle, joining Alice in her wonderful adventures. Now, in my mid-30s, after having published a postgraduate study about the Alice books I do believe that the books I grew up with have made me the man I am today.
3. The colours of the Matrix
Blue and green are two important colours in the Matrix universe. Dark blue stands for the “real world” of The Matrix where the characters are unplugged. Green is another colour that has great significance in The Matrix as it symbolizes the world of the machines.
4. The digital rain of the Matrix
The Matrix digital rain, with its falling green code representing the virtual reality of the Matrix, is also on the background of the cover of my intertextual study The Matrix and the Alice Books. The cover depicts Alice looking up at theCheshire Cat who smiles down at Alice from a tree while, in the background, the binary coded Matrix digital rain invites the readers into a world where dream and reality are one.
5. “The Matrix has you”
Wachowskis’ quote “The Matrix has you” is a very powerful statement that has resonated with a whole generation of science fiction fans. The quote makes reference to the realization that our lives are controlled by an outside force and some of us have the willingness to fight this force or, on the contrary, feel the desire to conform and play by the rules. From the stand we take when it comes to governments, economic policies and social issues, our choice to remain part of the Matrix (the powers-to-be) or our struggle to break free and fight the system is brilliantly summarized in these four words: “The matrix has you.”
Voicu Mihnea Simandan is currently on a virtual tour with The Matrix and the Alice Books, an intertextual study that looks at the connection between the scifi movie The Matrix and Lewis Carroll’s books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.
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Genre – Non-Fiction/Movie Studies/Literary Criticism
Rating – G