Heather Fanning Dead Poets Paper

Submitted By justinmoss49
Words: 1003
Pages: 5

Dead Poets' Society
"I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way" (Dead Poets' Society, 1989). The opening scene of Peter Weir's film Dead Poets' Society presents the private high school Welton with its established rules and values: strict discipline, tradition, authority, honor and excellence. It soon becomes clear that students do not respect the values established by the school; they work out some anti-values. Their secret protest gains new strength when a new literature teacher, Mr. Keating, comes to the school. His appearance becomes a breath of fresh air for the students and a challenge to the old educational traditions. Has the system of education of the 21st century been able to deal with the issues covered in the paper? Definite reforms took place and many schools today can enjoy using technological innovations and the experience of the best teachers. However, there are still numerous problems concerning lagging behind contemporary social and technical advances and development of creative and critical thinking. Tragic shootings in schools have become a real threat to the safety of thousands of people. That's why, besides the reforms, there is a need in such individuals who are not afraid to question the established values. When Mr. Keating brings new fresh teaching methods to the academy, there appears a hope that the school system will finally approach its goal – the creation of people who can think independently and take responsible actions. He motivates his students to be active and curious, to think, and to use their minds. Even for the present day his teaching style is extraordinary and opposes the traditional lecture method, with its rules of accurate recitation. It would be wrong to state that only such methods should be used, but especially in case with literature and poetry, they seem extremely suitable. Keating himself studied in Welton and survived there, that's why he calls it Hellton. He appears in the school as a representative of a new education method. He refuses to strictly follow prescribed program and giving routine lectures. Instead, he tries to teach his students to be creative and think independently. There is a striking scene that illustrates Keating's positions: he insists that the students tear out introduction from the textbook on English poetry, because it says that poetry, and art in general, can be studied through established rules. It is natural that not all students are fond of such new educational approach – they are used to traditional methods. Keating challenges the school's tradition and the value of authority when he commands the students to stand on their desks and look around meaning that they must not forget to form their opinions by looking at things from different sides. Keating teaches young people enjoy every moment of life by proclaiming one of his mottos “Carpe Diem”. Such principle is a definite danger for the schools discipline. The teacher explains how it is important to respect the time of life in order not to waste it for boring formalities. Obviously, one of the most loved scenes of the film is the one where Keating says, "Because we are food for warms, lads. Because believe it or not each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die" (Dead Poets' Society, 1989). Such words can make one value every moment and they become the leitmotif of the film. Keating comes to the school and poses a threat to the whole system and work ethics. At first sight, he teaches his students individualism and personal freedom. However, it is not as simple as it seems. It is a great responsibility to teach young people to value the uniqueness of each individual, and prepare them for the challenges of the real life where a different view is not always welcomed. Welton's principal symbolizes the autocratic guardian of the old rules and tradition and does not allow