Is The Matrix in America?
Matrix: Resurrections premieres on December 22, and we here at The Colloquial are asking the important questions. Specifically, does America exist in the matrix? I mean in the in-universe matrix, not in the films themselves. In the films, the name plates on the hovercrafts such as The Nebuchadnezzar indicate the ships were built in the real-world United States of America. However, inside of the matrix, everyone seems to live in one giant city that is only ever referred to as The City.
So, I have a two part question: does America exist to the duracells plugged into the matrix, and does American history exist?
Does America “Exist?”
In The City, everyone we meet speaks English and most of them with an American accent. So, that’s an indication that they’re living in some kind of digital analogue of the US. However, that could just be a decision by the machines to simplify their programming. If they just downloaded every original Matrix inhabitant with English, they would wipe out every other language instantly. That sure would make it easier to code the world.
However, the spoon kid in the first film clearly has a British accent. What purpose would that serve the machines? Furthermore, how could a British accent survive in a city full of American accents? When the children of immigrants go to school with American kids they typically develop an American accent. So, there must be lots of people with British accents living in some kind of Anglo-town district of The City. Are there other districts like this? Throughout the films, we see a smattering of world religions and cultures within The City and in Zion. That brings us to the Oracle’s protector and kung-fu captcha, Seraph.
Seraph speaks English with an, I believe, Taiwanese accent. So, where did Seraph get that accent? Furthermore, does he speak some other language or does he only speak differently-accented English? Well, in my Matrix nerd theory, Seraph is from an earlier version of the Matrix. Is it possible that the machines code each version of the Matrix to a different country in an attempt to find a setting that humans won’t reject? That sounds exactly like the thinking of a machine to me.
Lastly, the Merovingian is from an earlier version of the matrix, indicated by him mentioning Neo’s “predecessors.” He says that he has sampled every language. So, if different languages exist, or existed, that would suggest different countries exist at least in people’s minds.
That would suggest to me that this sixth version of the matrix is coded as America. Previous versions might have been east Asia, Africa, the Middle East, etc. If that’s the case, I desperately want to see those versions.
Does American History “Exist?”
If the citizens of the matrix are actually in an artificial version of America, and I think they are, there must be some history there. It would be pretty odd to think that you live in a country that has never ever done anything in the past. The films offer some indications, especially the first one.
When Neo is grabbed by the agents, he says that he “knows [his] rights” in demanding one phone call from jail. I don’t think that’s unique to America but it is understood to be a right in the US. Furthermore, Neo says Agent Smith can’t frighten him with “gestapo crap.” The gestapo, Nazi secret police, only existed immediately prior to and during World War II. That suggests Germany is known to the matrix citizens and so is World War II. Did these events actually occur circa year 39 of the current version of the Matrix as it progressed towards 1999? I think not.
My personal theory is that the matrix operates on a sort of dream logic; therefore, they are always stuck in 1999. They’re implanted with memories of the world prior to 1999 and then just play the same level of technology and advancement over and over for 100 years.
So, to answer my original questions:
- Are they in America: Yes, I think so.
1a) Do other countries exist? No, I don’t think so.
- Did history play out inside the matrix: No, I don’t think so.
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