Film Review of Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society explores the conflict between realism and
romanticism as these contrasting ideals are presented to the students
at an all boys preparatory school. Welton Academy is founded on
tradition and excellence and is bent on providing strict structured
lessons prescribed by the realist, anti-youth administration.
John Keating is a new English teacher with a passion for poetry. When
he returns to his own strict childhood school to teach, his
unconventional methods quickly prove to be inspirational to a group of
students. He inspires them to pursue their desires and live life to
The students re-institute a secret society that Keating used to run
called the Dead Poets Society. The society meet in an old cave and
recite famous poetry and works of their own. Problems soon start to
arise when the actions of the students become unfavorable with the
conformist attitudes of both the school and the boys parents.
How it relates to self-discovery:
Dead poets society relates to the area of self-discovery in many ways.
Most people find out something about themselves through their
Among them, Neil Perry discovers that his real passion in life is
acting and proceeds to land the role of Puck in a Midsummer Night's
Dream at the local theater. He begins to weave a tangled web of
deception by failing to inform his father, then lying to Mr. Keating
when his father finds out and demands he quit the play. Feeling
trapped, after his final performance and a standing ovation, he takes
his own life.
The most important discovery made in the film was by Todd Anderson.
Todd is painfully shy and terrified that what he says is insignificant
and meaningless. This is particularly disturbing to him since he is
repeatedly told that he has "big shoes to fill" being the younger
brother of a former valedictorian. However, later in the film, Todd's
confidence was boosted by both Mr Keating and Neil. In one final
scene, displaying the beauty of a balance between the two ideals, Todd
is able to cry out to Mr. Keating, who stopped by the class to collect
his belongings, "O Captain, my Captain!" Todd, who previously had no
identity, contributed his verse to mankind, climbing to the top of his
desk to salute his fallen teacher, who changed his life.
The story is...