Dead Poets Society Essay

Submitted By heahja
Words: 1123
Pages: 5

Hannah Ameen Essay
September 26. 2014 Dead Poet’s Society

The film Dead Poets Society written by Tom Schulman is story about students that attend the authoritative "Welton Academy," a prep school in Vermont. Parents who insist on sending their children to the best universities after high school send their kids to Welton for high school. Welton, like many prep schools of the time, admitted only boys. The movie takes place in 1959. The plot centers on the influence of Mr. Keating, a young and exciting English and poetry teacher, who is determined to teach his students to live life with absolute passion. Inspired by Mr. Keating's philosophy of life, many of his students recreate the "Dead Poet's Society," a secret club that meets in a cave in order to discuss poetry, philosophy and other topics. The club, which Mr. Keating had created many years earlier when he was a student at Welton, would be completely unacceptable to the conservative school. The school believes that Welton’s students should be in their rooms, studying all the time. This movie is about what happens when these students decide to pursue their own desires, and to live life with the passion that Mr. Keating encouraged. In The Dead Poets Society there is much evidence to support that excellence is not always rewarded in this world and being different should be accepted.
There are several traditional and educational values of Welton Academy. A traditional value of Welton academy would be that all the boys have to wear a uniform. Considering the school is all boys all of the boys wore the same exact thing. An education value of Welton was a very small class size. Also an educational value was for every student to go to a top-notch school coming out of Welton. Also the school issues instructions to the teachers on the curriculum and the manner in which it is to be administered, while the students are expected to follow it unquestioningly. Everything at Welton has to be the exact way that the administration wants it to be.
There was a conflict between the traditional and conservative values promoted by Welton Academy as a school, and thee teaching methods of John Keating. The teachings of John Keating resemble who he is as a human being. He teaches his students what he thinks are good values. He teaches them the idea of “Carpe Diem”, which means seize the day. This shows that they should go out and accomplish tasks. He takes them out of the classroom to demonstrate what he means. This definitely affected the students’ lives because they are going to live more freely. By encouraging his students to freely express their emotion he is undermining the pursuit of excellence because he is taking the majority of their focus off of the classroom. Studying is a good example of this because the school “goes by the book” too much and Keating is taking a different approach to teaching these students. He undermines the pursuit of excellence by having them thing freely which results in a slower way of learning. If he went by the book it will be done quickly, but he wanted to teach them so they actually learn the information and not forget what they are taught. Keating has a giant impact on the boys.
This subculture of Mr. Keating’s classroom in my mind was right. Mr. Keating looked at things in a totally different way than the school wanted. He had more leniencies for things and the students I believe truly benefited from it. For example when Keating told the students to rip out the first pages in his literature book. The students were hesitant at first because that was against Weldon’s policies. Mr. Keating sent a signal to the boys that if you really wanted something in life you have to dig for it.
Neil Perry is a confident and popular student who excels in his studies. Neil’s father wants him to drop out of the play and he plans for him to become a doctor in the near future. His father didn’t except the fact that he was good at what he did because his