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Length, etc.: 1200 words minimum; MLA format (Times New Roman, 12-point font, do

Length, etc.: 1200 words minimum; MLA format (Times New Roman, 12-point font, double spaced; with appropriate heading and page #s) 
The goal for this paper is to develop a thesis-driven analysis of the film The Matrix, focusing on elements of the story you identify with, or which theme speaks the most truth to you. The Matrix is your primary source for this paper. You will develop your analysis within the context of the cyberpunk genre and Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation (for which you will reference secondary sources on cyberpunk and Baudrillard). Baudrillard’s work is a major influence for The Matrix; his ideas about media culture and simulations have influenced the evolution of cyberpunk fiction.  
Some questions to consider, when formulating your thesis/overall argument: to what extent have you let the matrix “tell you who you are”? (In other words, to what extent do you think you have formed your self image from the internet, social media, and your avatar in the virtual world?) How can you identify with the experience of Thomas Anderson (Neo), waking up to reality vs choosing to live in a comfortable delusion, etc.? Can you see Neo’s transformation as a metaphor for your own, during this transformative stage in your own life, as a college student?
Introduction & Thesis Statement: Begin you paper by quickly orienting the reader to the topic and stating your thesis, which tells the reader, in a nutshell, the argument you will be developing in your body paragraphs about The Matrix (1999), the cyberpunk genre, and Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation (1981). 
Then, in your first body paragraph (after your BRIEF intro/thesis), you will identify the defining elements of the cyberpunk genre. So, to help you articulate this, you could watch the first 5-10 minutes (or so) of this documentary, Cyberpunk, and summarize it (if you quote from it, make that quotation relatively short): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sttm8Q9rOdQ&t=253s
Then in a new paragraph connect cyberpunk ideas to Baudrillard’s main points/concepts and consider using this video to help (it’s best to read/cite from the actual book, though I know it can be confusing). For instance, Baudrillard’s concept/definition of what he calls “the precession of simulacra” or his notion of “hyperreality” would be especially relevant for any paper/argument about these themes. Be sure to connect Baudrillard’s ideas to The Matrix as you end this paragraph and transition to your analysis. Here’s the great video from class, on the relationship between Baudrillard’s writing and The Matrix (the influences, references), as well as his hilariously contrary reaction to the film. (However, you do NOT need to mention in your paper anything about his opinion of the film, unless, of course he says, something about it that relates directly to your own developing ideas/thesis/argument.)

And here’s a good summary of Simulacra and Simulation within the context of POSTMODERN theory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D86_ptqd8I —-Or you could summarize IN YOUR OWN WORDS this paragraph about it, written by my friend, Dino, who teaches at Purdue: https://cla.purdue.edu/academic/english/theory/postmodernism/modules/baudrillardsimulation.html
So, then, after summarizing Baudrillard’s main ideas here, connect it to The Matrix quickly and start developing your thesis about all of this (which you promised the reader in your introductory paragraph/thesis statement). 
To refresh your memory about the film, watch this video starting at 1:55:00–2:02: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KczJNtexinY
And here’s another good summary of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhPIusL6KJA&t=8s
Please do not make this very complex. Write as a beginner writer, leaving small errors.

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