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Dead Poets Society

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Dead Poets Society Analytical Essay "Although he is presented as the hero of the film, Mr Keating has flaws of character. His influence could be called a mixed blessing." Do you agree? Although Mr Keating generally has a positive influence, his teaching methods and personality are not perfect, and sometimes he has an undesired effect on the students. He encourages them to 'fight the system', and this can land them into trouble with both the school and their parents. Keating's teaching also results in giving the boys somewhat unachievable or dangerous hopes and dreams, things that cannot be, or are difficult to be pursued in a rational frame of mind. Throughout the essay we will explore the different attributes of Mr Keating, his teaching methods, and influence on the students. Mr Keating introduces the students to a different way of thinking, and he explores a more controversial teaching method. He encourages them to open their minds and learn to think for themselves. The students are taught, and also shown, the dangers of conformity, and giving in to become merely just what others want them to be. ...read more.


Mr Keating motivates and presses him to follow his passion for acting. He urges him to go against what may be more rational and 'normal', and seek out his true desire to act. He also motions for him to confront his father. "I know this sounds impossible, but you have to talk to him. You have to show him who you are, what your heart is." Mr Keating believes that Neil must become his own person, and plead with his dad to let him to follow his own dreams and stop living through Neil. However Mr Keating's push for Neil to rebel against his father and tradition results in some unpleasant consequences. Neil does not have the support or conviction to stand up to his father, and this makes him feel weak and inadequate. He tells Keating that he has indeed spoken to his father. He does this not just so he can continue with the play, but also to gain the respect of Mr Keating. If Keating hadn't put this pressure on him, Neil wouldn't have had to lie in order to show Mr Keating that he was strong. ...read more.


It put them in an awkward position between standing up for themselves, and therefore rebelling against both the school and their families, or pleasing their families and Welton. This can be blamed on both the school and the parents for possessing such narrow-minded attitudes. It can also be blamed on Keating for introducing the boys to ideas that were so far away from those they were brought up with and ones that could be so dangerous to them considering their situation. We can conclude that Mr Keating conveys both positive and negative attributes through his teaching and time at Welton. He encourages the boys to follow their dreams and passions, and to speak what is on their mind. To challenge the opinions of others and to "Seize the day". However he also introduces the boys to a world that is controversial and far from the one they are used to, leading them into some dangerous situations. Ultimately he is unable to completely recognise the fragile and influential nature of his students, and ends up playing a part, albeit small, in Neil's death. His influence and presence in the film can be seen as a mixed blessing, conveying both good and partly undesirable ideas. ...read more.

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