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What is the difference between vacillation between two points and true choice under pressure? - Question/Answer Now Playing


What is the difference between vacillation between two points and true choice under pressure?

May 24, 2011

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What is the difference between vacillation between two points and true choice under pressure? - Question/Answer Q & A Discussion


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robertofrancacine: Great insight.
at Aug 11, 2014 - 11:38 PM
Great insights, Bass and Robert Mckee.
Bass wrote
at May 24, 2011 - 7:57 AM
I love DIE HARD.

As for examples of THE MATRIX: When Neo chooses to rescue Morpheus from the Agents, it's a true dilemma. On the one hand, it's between two irreconcilable goods – they can stop the Agents discovering where Zion is by killing Morpheus in the real world, or, they can rescue Morpheus from the Agents in the matrix. But it's also the lesser of two evils – they either kill Morpheus, or, attack the Agents' stronghold and all get killed. Killing Morpheus is the easier, safer way of protecting Zion, but it costs Morpheus' life. Neo chooses to risk his own life in order to save Morpheus.

As for the fight in the subway, again, it's not a fight/flight response where Neo can only fight or not fight. The choice isn't about Neo's life, because Neo thinks he can run away and live, or fight and win. The problem is that if he runs, he cannot prove that he is the One. And so he has a choice between proving he can defeat an Agent or escaping unharmed, and what he risks, is his life. After he defeats Smith and Smith reincarnates himself, he runs because he made his choice and proved his point: he can beat an Agent, he is the One. Fighting Smith would risk his life again, but now there's nothing to gain from it, so he runs.

In these fight/flight responses, it's not just "to live" or "to die", often there is something else at stake. In the case of THE MATRIX, Zion is at stake, and so is Neo's (and Morpheus') faith that he is The One. When Action/Adventure is about Good/Evil and not Life/Death, as in the case of THE MATRIX, the crisis decision expresses the protagonist's willingness to give up their life to achieve good; good is more important than life.

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