The Matrix franchise centers around Keanu Reeves’ character Neo, but there’s more behind what he calls himself compared to an anagram for (The) One.
The Matrix franchise centers on Keanu Reeves’ portrayal of Neo, however, there’s more meaning behind why he calls himself that than only a simple anagram for”One,” as in”One.” In 1999, the action sci-fi blockbuster blew audiences away with its merging of technology and existential awakening. In the film, Reeves plays Thomas Anderson, a guy who works as a computer programmer (a profession he finds as unfulfilling as the rest of his current life) daily and tirelessly hunts for significance –although he does not fully realize it–by night. He is a computer programmer in his spare time and does so by scouring the world wide web to get the significance of a recurring phrase (“The Matrix”), in addition to the identity of somebody named Morpheus.
Morpheus and his team find Neo (who is still going by Thomas Anderson at this stage ), and his previous view of reality is ruined. With Morpheus’ help, he sees the world for what it is: one of deception, facades, and management. They notify Neo that he is “The One,” a messiah-like figure that has been prophesized about. He’s meant to finally end the continuing battle between humankind and the hyperintelligent machines which now have the upper hand, unbeknownst to most people. As Anderson joins their ranks and begins his training within the world because he knows it, he takes on his former hacker alias of “Neo,” and his route of “awakening” starts.
So, what’s the significance behind Neo? It’s an anagram. But just like with many of The Matrix’s strong elements – both big and little – you will find additional layers of meaning. Interestingly enough, Neo’s alias isn’t the only portion of the title with this kind of subtext. “Neo” can also be seen in his character’s given last name, Anderson – incorrect order, also. Likewise,” one” can be seen in the full name Thomas Anderson. Both of these carefully-embedded names refer to Neo’s layers of pre-ordained duality. Also, Anderson, like Agent Smith, has an impressively normal, run-of-the-mill name. When he goes by this, he is still another anonymous cog in the system of reality control.
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And, of course, there’s the true name Neo. In Greek,” neo-” is a prefix meaning”fresh,” as his personality is a new variant of himself, appearing to help forge a new universe. Along with the purposeful name, layers don’t stop there! Thomas means”twin” in both Greek and Hebrew, again paralleling the way Neo is both his first self and The 1. And, in early Greek, “Andros” is a form of this phrase”man” This usually means that the previous name Anderson (“Andros-son”) is effectively dubbing Neo that the”son of man,” which is just another Christ-like reference.
The amount of intricacy in The Matrix’s symbolism is astounding, and it surely doesn’t end with Neo. This also extends into the personality of Trinity (another biblical reference, this time into the three-part Holy Trinity), since she is part of a mainly-three-person team with Morpheus and Neo. And there is Morpheus, who shares his name with the Greek god of dreams–as he aids Neo, and the remainder of the human race, in waking up from theirs. The Matrix’s complicated, contemporary spin on existential awakening is so heady it still fries viewers’ circuit boards now.