The film “Dead Poets Society” contains several clear examples of the philosophies in the film. One vital example is individualism, throughout the film one cannot miss seeing that individualism is an important aspect of society. The film takes place in a private boarding school called Welton Academy, where students must wear suits and follow strict rules set out by their teachers. The film begins with an introduction to these rules, which include no noise after lights out, be at breakfast at 7:15 am sharp, lining up for lunch and dinner promptly, wearing jackets properly (with numbers facing forward), etc.
The principle character of the film is Neil Perry; he is not only the protagonist but also serves as somewhat of a narrator for the film. Neil is an incoming student at Welton, he grew up in a rough neighborhood and had to work hard for everything he has achieved. He doesn’t speak like the other boys at Welton; he speaks with different words and phrases than them which causes his peers to ponder on whether or not they should accept him as one of their own.
When Neil first meets Mr. Nolan, the headmaster of Welton, Mr. Nolan quickly notes that Neil said “I” more times in that brief meeting then most students say it during their entire four years at his school (Dead Poets Society).
Dead Poets Society (1989 film) focused on a group of students at an all-boy, very strict boarding school in the 1950s. The film revolves around one student named Neil Perry(played by actor Robert Sean Leonard), who felt it was terrible to be part of such a regimented and authoritarian system. He experienced something that film critics called “rebellion against authority” (United Press International); this film is categorized as individualistic because it depicts events in which individuals think for themselves and rebel against what they see as unjust rules or traditions, even if doing so comes at their own expense (i. . , Neil Perry abandoning his friends and lovers).
On the first day of school, Neil meets Mr. Keating, a new English teacher at Welton Academy. Mr. Keating attempts to show his students how to live their lives by using poetry and plays as an example of resisting what he calls “the dining hall mentality” (Virgin Media). He tries to teach them that life should be about passion and creativity, not just getting into the best college and conforming (BBC News).
This film shows the ideas and beliefs that motivate Neil Perry; for example, Neil ends up giving Mr. Keating a gift of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass because he feels it is the only book appropriate enough to give such an inspiring man (Movieclips). Also, film critics wrote about another scene in which Mr. Keating asks his students whether they can find a reason to stay at Welton if his film version of “O Captain! My Captain! ” is not shown. Although Neil may have been the only one in class who said he was going to quit, it shows how he did not feel like conforming to what everyone else wanted him to do (Virgin Media).
This film also shows that individualistic thinking does not always work because Neil’s rebelliousness prevents him from joining his friends when they leave school to go see the film, and by doing so, Neil misses out on their camaraderie and support. Dead Poets Society further illustrates examples of individualism with themes such as protecting individuality against conformity and being true to oneself.
One scene specifically exemplifies these concepts where Mr. Keating tells his students that they should try to be like “breakfast and a hot bath”, instead of like “paint and the National Gallery” (Virgin Media). This film showed examples of rebellion against what is wrong, showing support for those who are different, and standing up for one’s beliefs; all these traits can be seen as individualistic. Dead Poets Society has been lauded as a film with deep messages about society today. It discusses how conformity among people can prevent them from thinking for themselves or having individuality.
Neil Perry experiences this when he tries to go against the grain of everyone else in school by joining Mr. Keating’s literature club instead of participating in athletics, which makes him feel isolated from the people he cares about. The film also shows some of the consequences of being too individualistic, such as when Neil misses out on watching his friends go to see “O Captain! My Captain! ” together because he does not want to conform. Dead Poets Society is an excellent film for students who are learning more about individuality and how it is important to think for oneself within a community.
Dead Poets Society was critically acclaimed by film critics, winning several film awards including the Best Picture award at the Goldwyn Awards, which is given annually to honor excellence in film making (IMDb). Helen McFadden won Best Actress in a Supporting Role at both the National Board Review Awards and International Press Academy’s Satellite for her role as Suzy Erikson. Tom Schulman won an award for Best Original Screenplay at the Writers Guild of America Awards for his film Dead Poets Society (IMDb).
This film was also nominated for several awards, including six nominations at the Golden Globes Award, three nominations at the Academy Awards among other film critics’ film awards. Neil Perry’s individuality is one example of someone who thinks and acts differently than everyone else, but he pays a price by feeling isolated from his peers. Some students may feel left out because they do not fit in with what society expects them to be like, but it can prevent them from finding their place within a community and entering adulthood successfully. This film discussed how individualism is important and has its strengths and weaknesses.
Overall, film critics have given Dead Poets Society positive reviews because it demonstrates the importance of individuality within a community and how it can be both good and bad for people. It also illustrates that film criticism can be performed in different ways by film critics themselves depending on what movie they are reviewing. To illustrate the variety film criticism has as an art form, film critic Roger Ebert wrote about Dead Poets Society , but other film critics such as J Hoberman write differently than Ebert does, so their individualistic writing styles can affect their film review writings.