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Dead Poets Society Conformity Essay

Sieze the Day in the Dead Poet Society by Tom Schulman Essay

797 Words4 Pages

Through outdoor soccer games and the ripping of textbook pages, John Keating, an English professor, instructs his pupils of the dangers of conformity and the importance to seize the day. In Tom Schulman’s Dead Poet’s Society, the students of Welton Academy, an all-boys preparatory school, quarrel between tradition and individuality. Mr. Keating emphasizes the value of emotions, mystery and imagination through the teaching of romanticism. The realist administration of Welton founded on the pillars of “tradition, honor, discipline, [and] excellence”, contrast Keating’s passionate teachings. With stringent expectations, the classic film showcases the students’ struggle between satisfying their passions or conforming to society. Through…show more content…

Through outdoor soccer games and the ripping of textbook pages, John Keating, an English professor, instructs his pupils of the dangers of conformity and the importance to seize the day. In Tom Schulman’s Dead Poet’s Society, the students of Welton Academy, an all-boys preparatory school, quarrel between tradition and individuality. Mr. Keating emphasizes the value of emotions, mystery and imagination through the teaching of romanticism. The realist administration of Welton founded on the pillars of “tradition, honor, discipline, [and] excellence”, contrast Keating’s passionate teachings. With stringent expectations, the classic film showcases the students’ struggle between satisfying their passions or conforming to society. Through Schulman’s characters Richard Cameron, Neil Perry, and Todd Anderson, the film represents this conflict. The creation of traditionalist character Richard Cameron, Schulman promotes the realistic sparring partner of Mr. Keating’s teachings. In the beginning of the film Cameron holds the banner that says “tradition”, the pallor showcases Cameron’s role as the traditionalist in movie. Cameron, a meticulous, determined student, is eager to please his teachers and his parents. In Mr. Keating’s first class of the year when he first inspired many of the boys with his romantic philosophies, Cameron asked “Think he'll test us on that stuff?”. Cameron’s remark proves that his only concern is his academic stature. In later days, Mr. Keating’s class is

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Conformity is expected out of every individual within a group or faction. In the movie the Dead Poets Society there are three diverse “societies” that illustrate this conformity. If you look deeper, though, you see that even though there is an expectation out of each group there is individuality among each character. Of course this could be said about any person, but you see that their individualities can all fit in within their own groups. Individuality can be achieved within a conformed society as long as it follows the set rules for that group and is proved in the movie Dead Poets Society.

In the movie, the boys go to a prep school called Welton and the school is the first out of the three societies. This school is very strict and has many rules. In the beginning of the movie they have a ceremonial welcome back meeting where boys enter with banners that say “Tradition, Honor, Discipline, and Excellence”. This is what that school expects of the boys, but by the rules set down.

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Neil Perry, the main character in the movie, is trying to find himself. He is looking for his passion that sets him on fire. Mr. Keating, his English teacher, is someone who helps him find it. Neil, through the dead poets society, find that he wants to be an actor. He then proceeds to try out for the school play and gets the lead in the play. Unfortunately, though this is accepted under the schools rules, it is not accepted by his father. This is what drives Neil to the edge. It is not so much the conformity of the school but more his fathers expectation of him. Neil had his individuality in the society, but it was his father who rejected the idea.

In the school, a group of boys become inspired to form a group called to dead poets society. In this society the boys sneak out of the school and go to a cave and recite and analyze poems. Though it seems defiant, it too has its set of rules. Each boy, Neil Perry, Todd Anderson, Knox Overstreet, Charlie Dalton, Richard Cameron, and all the other boys who attend are expected to bring food, cigarettes, and other unusual items. They are also all, except Todd, expected to read aloud, to participate in the meeting and they are all to keep it secret. This is how they must conform to be part of the society.

If you look into each character in the dead poets society, you see that they all have their individual traits that make them, them. Todd Anderson is shy and afraid of public speaking.

Though it has its rules, the society doesn’t make him read aloud. They make an exception for an individual’s personal problem. Todd later finds that he has his passion for poetry. He can use this and is permitted to use this in the two societies he is a part of.

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