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Matrix Essay: Red vs Blue Pill?

“The blue pill will eliminate any knowledge of the choice he has made and will leave him in the world of illusion. The red pill opens the dates to a world which offers nothing but the terrible truth.”

Red or blue? Which pill would you take, and why?

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To this question, I must say I would take the blue pill. There are of course many reasons to doubt my decision and take the red pill, but those don’t overcome the confusion and harsh reality that would be experienced if I didn’t take the blue pill. Imagine having to deal with the fact that you weren’t truly living all this time, that your body had been useless to you and was simply being used as a form of energy or that everything you thought you felt or experienced wasn’t really being felt or experienced. Also, how could you be sure that someone with two pills isn’t just bluffing you?

If you haven’t had any reason to doubt the life you were living before, as if you hadn’t experienced anything out of the ordinary, then how would you know that someone offering you two random colored pills isn’t simply trying to drug you? I mean, isn’t the idea of a Matrix a little absurd? And even if you were to believe it, and take the red pill, how do you know that the world you are going to isn’t just another layer of the Matrix? How do you know when you have actually hit reality?


I would choose to take the blue pill for numerous reasons: firstly, I wouldn’t necessarily believe a Matrix existed, especially since I haven’t seen anything extraordinary in my lifetime. I haven’t seen people flying, or someone walking straight through a door so why should I doubt the veracity of my life? Unless I saw with my own two eyes (and wasn’t dreaming it) a man, as Mr. Koppe said, put his hand straight through television, then I don’t have any reason to doubt what I am living is reality Furthermore, if someone offered me the chance to witness the “real world” and all it is all one big disaster, why would I give up a fairly luxurious life for one filled with doubt and suffering?

I have been told that the “real world” is a “post-apocalyptic wasteland, grey and desolate” therefore isn’t any better than the Matrix. The Matrix doesn’t seem at all bad compared to that, and why would I want to give up a lifestyle that I believe is authentic? I would have to get used to a completely different way of living that is, in fact, worse. Further on, I would also have to learn to live with the fact that I could have also chosen a comfortable life in the matrix if I would have only taken the blue pill.

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In the Matrix, the computer programs and Artificial Intelligences don’t directly affect my life or control me, although they believe I am a “cancer to this world”. I have never felt directly managed or threatened, and live a comfortable and somewhat happy life and wouldn’t give that up to fight a war in horrible conditions. By taking the blue pill, I would completely forget about the idea of there being another reality and continuing living my life assuming I was actually living in the “real world”. I wouldn’t have to deal with the idea of the two worlds, or the fact that my body is being held in a pod to provide energy, or that what I am doing isn’t real. I would go on living believing everything I sensed, felt, and experienced was true and I would not have to question it. For all I know, everything I am doing is all actually happening and the world I live in is reality. I believe it would cause me terrible psychological issues to try to understand and to also accept that the life that I lived in the Matrix was just an illusion. Likewise, how could I accept the fact that I wasn’t actually living; I was being reared like an animal in a pod. I would have to accept that I hadn’t actually loved or been loved, I hadn’t actually been happy or sad, or that I hadn’t worked for any successes. Personally, I don’t think I would be able to deal with that reality if I were perfectly satisfied believing the Matrix was the “real world”. As James Pryor stated, I would probably risk going “insane”.


I completely comprehend that there is another side to the argument and that many people would choose to take the red pill. For example, some would argue that their thirst for the truth would drive them to take the red pill. They wouldn’t be able to live in a world where they weren’t actually loving or caring or smiling. They may feel they have been living a lie their entire life and feel it time to face the truth, no matter how callous it may be as it is their “true” life. They would argue that being in a pod isn’t the way a human should live and that we shouldn’t be controlled in a Matrix and should take advantage of the opportunity to be free because, in the end, it is our duty to fight and save the human race.

Julia Driver said: “one’s experiences fail to reflect reality”, and many would argue that this is true in the Matrix as there would never be any true gains or successes as your body isn’t actually doing anything. You haven’t really worked for anything and can’t feel the full satisfaction felt after overcoming something. In the same way, you couldn’t do anything wrong in a situation where you aren’t actually doing anything. I mean, your body is in a vat, so you aren’t technically doing anything; you are being programmed to do something but that isn’t really you. People may say this isn’t the way they want to live, they want their actions to have importance and to be real, they want to be sure they are loved instead of wondering if the person has been programmed to love them.

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However relevant these reasons maybe, I don’t feel them sufficient, as discovering the truth isn’t worth the “desert” you would be entering. You would be giving up a life you thought was real and wasn’t ever bothering you before you knew about the pills to be in a place of solitude and depression as you wouldn’t be around the people you had lived with, you wouldn’t be eating the food you had enjoyed and you would have to deal with the emotional stress of accepting your life wasn’t at all what you had imagined. Although my body may be in a vat, I would much rather prefer to continue believing the “dream world” was reality than have to experience the “actual” reality. Although people say they will be gaining freedom by entering the “real world” as they will no longer be controlled, how do they know they weren’t being controlled to take the red pill in the first place?

How can you be sure the pill that you are taking is your choice and not the choice of the person programming you? In that case, you don’t have a choice in which world you are to live in; you simply have to accept what the programmers have decided for you. This doesn’t seem very likely as the programmers (which are the computers) wouldn’t really want people escaping the matrix, but if you haven’t been controlling your life up to this point, what makes you think you can control that decision? The only decision you will be able to make for yourself is when you are in the “real world” and if you want to plug in temporarily or not.

There is one final very dominant reason influencing my choice to take the blue pill over the red pill. If I took the red pill, how would I know the world I was going to was in fact reality? How could I be sure that it wasn’t just another layer of the Matrix? I mean, in the movie, Morpheus takes Neo to a stimulation of the “real world”, so how does he know he is actually going into the “real world” when he leaves the stimulation? Morpheus says: “How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?” which is a very important question is why would you give up a benevolent dream world for the risk of going into a malevolent one?

How would you know it was real? Morpheus also said: “What is “real”? How do you define “real”?” which shows that even if you took the red pill and thought you were going into the “real world”, how would you know it was actually real? This greatly affects my choice as on top of going into a world that is worse than the one that I am in, there is the chance that that one isn’t even the “real one”, it is just another layer within the Matrix. Why would I take that risk, when living in the Matrix isn’t that bad to be with? Although life may not technically be real, it was what I believe is real when I take the blue pill and won’t ever have to think otherwise.

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My conclusion is that I believe that in this case “ignorance is bliss” as Cipher said because living in the “real world”, or what you can assume is the “real world”, isn’t better to living in the Matrix where you think you are in the “real world” and where the lifestyle is much better. James Pryor asked: “Who is the Matrix supposed to be bad for?” which is very important, as I don’t think it is bad for ordinary people who haven’t had any contact with the “real world”. Since they don’t have anything to compare it to or don’t even doubt it, then there is no reason for it to be bad for them.

Of course, without sounding like a relativist, what is good for some may not be good for others as the people that have unplugged don’t see it as good anymore as they are in a battle with the Agents. It depends greatly on whether you know of the alternate “real world” or not and if you prefer living in truth and freedom, even if it is a grimmer lifestyle. I mean, we could be in the Matrix right now and I don’t think it is a bad life. I mean I believe it is the real world, but what if it wasn’t, what if I was in the dream world? Then, to me, it isn’t a bad one as I haven’t experienced any agents trying to kill me, I have felt love and I have experienced successes and losses. Even if my body was in vat and this was a dream world, I wouldn’t know anything otherwise so I can stay content in the dream world. I believe it is real and that all I have felt is genuine so in my eyes, it isn’t a bad word at all, dream or real.

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Matrix Essay: Red vs Blue Pill?. (2021, Apr 20). Retrieved February 8, 2023, from