Design and AppearanceEdit
Room 101 is a small, one-room apartment within Mega City in the Matrix. Within this room Neo has one bed, one chair, and dozens of computer peripherals such as monitors, keyboards, headphones, a stereo system, CD players, audio tapes, and compact discs.
The room is messy and has shelves filled with books and CDs. Some of Neo's books are pageless and are instead used as small boxes to hold program CDs and tapes. There is also a small cabinet on the wall holding canned food and other condiments.
Neo spends most of his time within this room on his computer hacking into different computer systems and writing software. It is during this time that he wonders about his life and why his dreams are as real as his own life.
In his room, Neo is awakened and confused by strange messages from his computer that tells him, "WAKE UP, NEO.", "THE MATRIX HAS YOU..." and "FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT".
A party of people led by Choi and Dujour visit Neo at his apartment for some illicit software disks. He leaves the apartment with Choi and Dujour after Neo sees the white rabbit tattoo on Dujour's shoulder, remembering the strange messages from his computer. At the dark dance club Neo meets Trinity for the first time; the mysterious hacker who sent Neo along his path earlier that night and consequently resulting in his late arrival to his job as a software programmer at MetaCortex.
Neo awakens again in his apartment (materialized there to falsely believe he experienced a nightmare) after Agents interrogated him that afternoon and planted a bug in Neo's body through his stomach to help them find the "terrorist" named Morpheus. Morpheus asks Neo if he wanted to meet, and instructs him to go the intersection of Wells and Lake Streets. It would be the last time that Neo would inhabit Room 101.
The room number, 101, is an allusion by the Wachowskis to Neo's destiny as the One, and contrasts to Room 303, a surveillance room used by Trinity. 101 is also the number usually attributed to a course or manual for beginners in a particular field (in this case it represents the beginning of Neo's path to hacker enlightenment).
Room 101 can also be seen as an allusion to the Room 101 of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is a torture chamber in the "Ministry of Love" in which a prisoner is subjected to his or her own worst nightmare, fear or phobia.
The Number 101 also appears in The Matrix Reloaded when Morpheus, Neo, and Trinity first go meet the Merovingian. It is above them as they are walking down the hall. Possibly another Orwell reference seeing as how their worst fears are realized in this place. The place is wired with explosives and has the Ghost Twins, and the Werewolf that Persephone later kills. The French Man is also a Hades figure, seen in Club Hel in The Matrix Revolutions, which, together with his betrayal by Persephone, alludes to Greek mythology.
The number 101 also represents the customary Masonic lodge number. This number in Masonry represents the Temple of Solomon's two pillars, Baoz and Jachin, (1's) accompanied by the central Brazen Sea (0). Forming the "101", which literally symbolizes the entrance to the Holy of Holies, or figuratively signifies the beginning of one's esoteric and gnostic journey to self-actualization.
101 can also be seen as a binary number, the 0s and 1s used by computers to store information. 101 is the binary representation of the number 5 (which, in computing, is the sixth number, as counting begins from 0). Some see symbolism in this, as the three films are set in the sixth iteration of the Matrix. Neo is the sixth person to be the One, Zion has been destroyed 5 times before, and so on.