This Juxtaposes The Poem "What Are Years?" By Marianne Moore And The Film "Dead Poet's Society" Hence The Title "A Juxtaposition Of The Poem "What Are Years?" And The Film Dead Poet's Society.

1027 words - 4 pages

Since the beginning of time man has wrestled with the question of whether or not it is more courageous, whether or not it is nobler to keep oneself reserved by being obedient to the laws and people around him or by instead disregarding rules and laws and doing whatever pleases oneself. The poem "What Are Years?" by Marianne Moore demonstrates the former while the message related by the film Dead Poets Society represents the latter, asking people to make the most of life, or in other words we must Carpe Diem . . . Seize the Day. Despite being of two different minds on the subject, the messages of "What Are Years?" and Dead Poets Society have surprisingly a lot in common. These similarities are demonstrated through different parts of the poem being portrayed by different characters in the movie. In the first stanza of "What Are Years?" Moore describes the person who possesses courage as the one who pushes ahead during a challenge despite being faced with an "unanswered question or a resolute doubt," thereby eventually conquering that challenge and "in its defeat, stirs the soul to be strong." Practically all the boys in Dead Poets Society exemplify and demonstrate this behavior. Each boy showed some amount of courage by having the gall to join the club in the first place, despite the undoubted possibility that the Headmaster Mr. Nolan would not approve. Mr. Keating declares that "There's a time for daring and a time for caution- a wise man understands which is called for," when he is speaking to Charlie Dalton. This is the exact meaning of Moore's poem. A person can and should take a chance, should be adventurous, should Carpe Diem . . . Seize the Day. That is, until the boy begins endangering him and his free agency through those actions. In any event, the boys in the Dead Poets Society can be seen as possessing courage because they each made the wary choice of joining the club in the first place. The second stanza in the poem represents the other factor of Moore's perception of courage, which is that by acceding to morality a person "sees deep and is glad." She describes morality, or laws and limits, as an imprisonment that allows a person to rise upon himself "as the sea in a chasm, struggling to be free and unable to be, in its surrendering finds its continuing." This is a key part in the message of "What Are Years?" and is not represented as fully as the first part of Moore's poem. It is he who strongly feels who behaves correctly. Agreeing with this part of the poem, Mr. McCallister states, "Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams, and I'll show you a happy man." The author of the poem tells us that by instead being obedient to that which is asked of us we are not punished for disobeying and therefore become more free. The...

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