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Smith's Compulsion 'To Stay' and His Consequent Agenda
by Joe Marshall

Smith and Neo are opposites of each other, and each carries certain characteristics of the other's origin of creation, i.e. Smith in a sense becomes part human and Neo in a sense becomes part program. Some people have suggested that Smith makes the choice to rebel from the machines, from his obligation to return to the source after his destruction, deliberately. This cannot be. Smith did not choose to stay. "I knew what I was supposed to do, but I didn't...I couldn't." he says. "I was compelled to disobey, I was compelled to stay."

The Matrix Revolutions: The End

The connection the two found in "killing" each other denied him his once-inherent right to return to the source, for in that connection, he was by-force made virtually invincible. Only through eliminating the opposite and equal counterpart of the equation, which is Neo, could he himself be eliminated from the Matrix ("You are all that stands in his way," the Oracle tells Neo.) ...continued in the second column...






It is most likely that Smith did not wish to "stay" at all. A deliberate disobedience to return to the source and stay in the Matrix would contradict his very detestation for the "dream world" which he expresses to Morpheus in The Matrix. He also mentions to Neo: "We are not here because we are free; we are here because we are not free," implying their mutual entrapment both to each other and to the Matrix. The Matrix thus turns out as Smith's personal prison. He may have been more than glad to return to the source, but retrospectively he apparently preferred to stay. With his connection to Neo came the compulsion to remain there, but with it also came a new sense of authority and of power (for both him and Neo), a thing he obviously ends up relishing. This new twist of events he turns to his own agenda, and makes it clear what he wants to Neo, Morpheus, and the Keymaker. "I want what you want:" he says when blocking their path in the back doors. "...everything." He's not kidding either - he and Neo both want everything in the same sense: they both want the Matrix and all in its domain bent to their will for them, and both are working for it. By the end of Revolutions, no human or program remains unassimilated, un-overwritten by Smith's programming. Who'd have expected the war to have found an end in that way? The Oracle perhaps did, as she reminds Neo, even in the form of Smith, that "everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo." Thus, in the end, both of them are the beginning and the end - both of them began each other and both end each other. The Matrix 101: The End of this essay

 
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