In the movie “Dead Poet Society” the theme involves the idea of traditional values and shows the importance of individuality in a traditional society. In today’s society, we follow the norm and don’t test the boundaries to see what we can achieve. The “Dead Poet Society” proves that every human being is capable of the unthinkable, but it is up to the people to push themselves to the next level.
One cannot go through life living and staying in the interests of what seems suitable, but rather the person needs to form their own interests and persevere further to improve their lives. By putting traditional values aside and living through will and wit, one will find themself living a wonderful life and a life that is filled with ambition and self-fulfilment.
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The movie starts out with a general focus on a group of boys in a private school. The school is a classic example of traditional values because it is an all-boys school in which everyone wears a matching uniform. The students were sent to this high school by their parents with the expectations of achieving good grades while receiving a high-class education.
It is obvious that not everyone wanted to be in this traditional environment, but they still stayed and were sucked into a ‘obey the rules’ way of living. The teachers were very firm with the students and had a unique style of teaching. One of the main key features pointed out in the movie were the bars on the school window. The bars represent imprisonment to the students. They have been restricted to the limits.
In life, everyone needs to have positive role models, and in this case, Mr. Keating was that person. A couple of times in the movie a pack of swallows would be shown, then one after another, they would leave. This was symbolising the students in which how they used to rely on others and not think for themselves, but Mr. Keating had changed this. He taught his classes through poetry and showed them the truths that lay behind the Dead Poet Society. A group of about fifteen soon joined what they called the Dead Poet Society.
It was through this society where they learned that there was more to life than just going through the motions. It gave them a new outlook on life, and the awareness of their school was now different. They once were there because they had to be, but now they were there because they wanted to be. Two boys in the Dead Poet Society, Todd and Neil, learned that they could be individuals even though they were surrounded by traditionalism. Individuality became important to them, and unfortunately, Neil figured it out too late.
Neil Perry realized through Mr. Keating’s teachings that he could not live with the life his father had chosen for him. Sadly this led to his suicide that was caused by the fact that his father just couldn’t understand his passion for acting and how his father forced him to become a doctor without giving Neil any say in the matter. The suicide of Neil is very tragic, but if he hadn’t been convinced to free his mind from his father’s grasp he would have been miserable his whole life anyway. The other boys have a lower scale of consequences for freeing their minds, and most importantly, they were so much happier because they were really seizing the day any chance they had.
Charlie is able to stand up to the headmaster and change his name to “Nwanda” for a new identity, Todd is able to overcome his fear of public speaking and stand up for others, and Knox is able to get the girl he has fallen in love with. They use that line (Carpe Diem) as encouragement throughout the movie to lead them forward in their quests to conquer their dreams.
This story teaches us how living life to the fullest and doing everything possible to make every second worthwhile is the best way to find fulfilment and happiness. It is showed how one mans wise words can change many lives forever. Through this one phrase “Carpe Diem” amazing accomplishments are achieved, happiness is overwhelming, and satisfaction can finally be reached. Personally, I think this movie has morals and is a great teacher to everyone who sees it about how to handle life and time. Especially how to “Carpe Diem!”
After experiencing the movie and carefully thinking about the meaning of “Seize the Day” I have concluded that this movie was meant to make us think about how important it is to be our own person and make our own decisions because that’s the only way it is truly our lives. The movie has encouraged me to seize the day for myself and make my life as exciting as possible. I really enjoyed this movie!!
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