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Dead Poet's Society - summary, how it relates to self-discovery, techniques used, and comparing with

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English Assignment Additional Material - Dead Poet's Society: Title: Dead Poets Society Date: Released during 1989 Author: Tania Modleski Source: Paramount Pictures Type of Text: Film Summary: Dead Poets Society explores the conflict between realism and romanticism as these contrasting ideals are presented to the students at an all boys preparatory school. Welton Academy is founded on tradition and excellence and is bent on providing strict structured lessons prescribed by the realist, anti-youth administration. John Keating is a new English teacher with a passion for poetry. When he returns to his own strict childhood school to teach, his unconventional methods quickly prove to be inspirational to a group of students. He inspires them to pursue their desires and live life to the fullest. The students re-institute a secret society that Keating used to run called the Dead Poets Society. The society meet in an old cave and recite famous poetry and works of their own. ...read more.


This is particularly disturbing to him since he is repeatedly told that he has "big shoes to fill" being the younger brother of a former valedictorian. However, later in the film, Todd's confidence was boosted by both Mr Keating and Neil. In one final scene, displaying the beauty of a balance between the two ideals, Todd is able to cry out to Mr. Keating, who stopped by the class to collect his belongings, "O Captain, my Captain!" Todd, who previously had no identity, contributed his verse to mankind, climbing to the top of his desk to salute his fallen teacher, who changed his life. Techniques used: The story is predominantly viewed through the eyes of Todd Anderson, a newcomer to Welton, and his roommate Neil Perry. The two boys are very different from each other. While Todd is particularly cautious and unsure about his future, Neil, on the other hand, is ambitious and full of passion. ...read more.


In Dead Poets Society the characters, Todd Anderson and Neil Perry have made the self-discovery through Mr Keating. While in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape", Gilbert comes to a self-realization by the influence of Becky. Both films are in some way tragedies. In Dead Poets Society, Todd Anderson did not only make the discovery all through Mr Keating. Through the death of his roommate Neil Perry, Todd gradually released himself from the pressure that has been given to him through both school and family. In "What's eating Gilbert Grape", Gilbert also freed himself from his past responsibilities through the death of Bonnie. Therefore, death in both films performed an important role for the protagonists to make their own discovery. However, there is still one difference between to two texts. Though in the prescribed text, Gilbert was able to free himself totally from the past along with the changes of Endora, Todd is still locked in the constrained ideology of the school. Therefore, Dead Poets Society has a less perfect ending as What's Eating Gilbert Grape. ...read more.

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