Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

The school. According to an American author,

The
movie “Dead Poets Society”, is one of the best inspiring and most compelling
movie of a twentieth century directed by Peter Weir, which explores the concept
of individualism. In the movie, we can see a small group of boys who have been
sent to the Welton academy where education is understood to be a rigorous
academic learning program combined with the shaping of the students’ characters
according to explicitly traditionalist ideals. The movie showed that most of
the students where sent to this academy by their parents by force and most
against their will because they had to follow their family’s tradition and
principles like tradition, honor, discipline and excellence as generation to
generations of their forefathers had attended the school.  According to an American author, editor, and
critic of film and theater, “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” (Kauffmann, 1989). The movie also sends out the messages
like, thoughts and ideas cannot always be measured on a scale or with a test,
one should always look at life from more than one perspective, do what makes
you happy, learn from others and the most important was
stand up for what is right and what you believe in.

 

                    According to the author, Dan
Snierson, an American website senior writer, “The values and beliefs in any
society is the instrument that shapes individual in that society and students
are expected to be guided by the beliefs and value of the school” (Snierson, 2015). There was a policy
in Welton academy that every student had to follow since its inception such as school’s
rules and trust the doctrine of the school without any defiant and disrespect
manner. On the other hand, the teaching of Mr. Keating who was the new poetry
teacher was a little different then the traditional way of teaching which every
student liked in a very short period of time because his teaching was fun and
involved physical activity too. But, the head master didn’t like his teaching
style because he thought it was outrageous act of ripping out the pages of the
poetry book which was in a way did not only help his student with the values
and beliefs of the school but also misguided his students into an expended
awareness of life’s possibilities.

          The author Vincent Canby, an American
film and theatre critic who served as the chief film critic for The New York
Times says, “Even with the dynamic trend in the society, the school authority
still cling to the old doctrine of the school” (VINCENT, 1989). This means, the style of communication
or language exercise by the teachers in the school was more of an authoritative
style. Because of this teaching style, students were not free to challenge or
question the authority of their teachers which was not good because it lacks interaction
with the teacher and have to believe in everything they teach. According to the
author Kevin J.H. Dettmar, an associate professor and director of undergraduate
studies in the Department of English at Clemson University, “One critique of
Keating’s teachings is the lack of multiculturalism because he basically used
examples from white males and all of them were deceased which taught the
students about only one culture” (KEVIN, 2014).
It means Mr. Keating’s teaching would have been remarkable and he could have prevented
Neil from taking his life by committing suicide, if he had used the examples of
different cultures ranging from all over the world. This would have helped the students
to see on even broader outlook on the world about how other cultures lived, their
beliefs, and what the poets from that culture aimed their writing towards.

          According to the author, James Dudley
Andrew, an American film theorist and the Professor of Film and Comparative
Literature at Yale University, “Dead Poet’s Society (1989) is one shot movie because
there’s a scene in there that, to me, is the emotional and technical highpoint
of that film, it contains a completely dynamic camera movement, used to capture
a monologue from a teacher to his student and the devices utilized to
communicate the theme of conformity in this movie is the use of wide-angle
shots” (ANDREW, 1998). One of the stand-out scene in the
movie was when young student Todd is challenged in front of his class by
Keating to create poetry and he was so afraid to open up because of his fear
then after the continuous encouragement of Mr. Keating he slowly starts making
rhymes and he completes his poem which was so good. This scene was captured by one
of the truly dynamic cinematographer John Seale who was able to capture such
scenes with the camera rotating around its subjects, Keating and Todd.

          Another best scene in the movie was
in the final scene where the idea of conformity becomes difficult to
distinguish from that of unity in which John Seale was able to capture the
wide-angle shot in this scene which allows us to encompass all the important
features of the final scene such the empty desks, symbolic of those who did not
conform and of the fact that everyone need to know when to ‘go with the flow’. Through
this scene we can get inspiration that we can learn from someone else too which
can give the strength to follow our own dreams and allows us to see that by
following each other’s lead, we can develop a sense of unity in our fight.

          Therefore, even though the movie is
old and may not seem to be perfect to many critics, but for me, “Dead
Poets Society” is perfect because it addresses the imperfections of
adolescent life with a beauty rarely found in any films and even the theme of
conformity is still relevant in today’s society which effectively conveys the
positive message that we need to stand up for what is right and what you
believe in. Not only that, the movie also teaches us to learn that not everyone
succeeds in finding self-fulfillment and helps us to face our consequences with
positive decisions.