Dead Poets Society is a story of an English professor Mr. Keating who instructs one group of boys in a boarding school with very strict rules. Throughout the school year, the professor inspires them to “seize the day” and make their lives full of extraordinary. Carpe diem is all about choice and it is a theme that is commonly found in this movie. Many people do not succeed in life because they are scared to stand up for themselves. It’s very tough to achieve anything in this life if we do not risk ourselves. Some of his students take these lessons, and start applying to their lives.
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Charlie reveals the ideas of “carpe diem” in various ways. He feels that he can speak for other people, and he doesn’t care if they like him or not. First, he invites girls to come to the Dead Poets Society club meeting. Then he tells them they can go in because it’s his cave. He also publishes an article in the school paper about how they should have girls at Welton in the name of the Dead Poet Society without the approval of any other members. He also pulls the “phone call from God” to gain attention, pretending to himself as a god when he says that the phone call is from God. In the end, he is expelled for punching Cameron. Charlie punches him because Cameron had just come from telling the administrators about the Dead Poets Society club and blamed Keating for everything. Charlie feels it doesn’t matter if he’s expelled or not.
In addition, Neil seizes the day. Neil loves to do new stuffs, and come up with unique ideas. He is the one to call Keating “O Captain! My Captain!” and is the first able to ask him what the Dead Poets Society was. He is also the one to organize the first meeting of the club in the cave and he’s also a leader. Neil also tells Todd that he must participate in the Dead Poets Society club no matter what. Each of the choices is Neil’s attempts to gain control over his own life. Neil lives by his father’s rules. Carpe diem motivating Neil to go after his dream of acting, but his father wouldn’t let him. Going against his father, he decides to follow his heart by audition for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Neil receives the part as Puck. He claims that this is the first time in his life that he knows what he wants. However, after the show his father takes him home and yells at him. He ends up committing suicide, by using his father’s gun.
Knox also embraces living for the moment. Knox visits his parents’ friends, and soon falls in love with their daughter Chris. He broke his own rules to see her, and competed for her attention with her boyfriend Chet. At that party and after a few drinks, he makes a move on Chris and Chet was there, who then punches Knox. After that meeting, Knox does everything in his power to win her love over. Using his love of poetry, he presents one of his love poems in his English class, and is applauded by Keating. Then Knox travels to Chris’s school and read his poem to her in class, later convincing her to go to a show with him. Chris does like the attention Knox gives her, and in the end, holds his hand at the play.
Also, Todd finally can stand up by himself. Todd is a very quiet boy. He is the youngest of his family member and has many expectations laid upon him due to the success of his brother. Todd’s worst fear is that his life has no meaning. After the first day of class, Todd writes “Carpe Diem” on his paper, dreaming of what it would be like. But, he throws out the paper believing he has nothing to do with it Later, in class, after being asked to write a poem, Todd tells Keating he never completed the assignment after he spent many hours writing and revising his poem only to have thrown it away before class. Keating sees through Todd’s fear and later makes him say whatever comes to mind. This is the beginning of the change in Todd. He proves his loyalty to Keating by stand up to Cameron’s accusations of Keating. Todd is able to express his opinion that Cameron and the school are wrong.
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Students at Welton could not have any other choice for what they want to do or what type of person they want to be. But Mr. Keating teaching the boys learns to think on their own, and they all do their own stuffs with their own ideas. By doing that there were some good things happen such as Todd’s is a very quiet boy and shy who does not enjoy speaking himself in front of a lot of people but Mr. Keating helps him get over this fear, Todd finally finds a voice for himself that he never knew he had before, and Knox found his true love shows free thinking is an important thing in life because it lets everyone think and behave in different ways and situations. But there were some bad things such as Neil’s commits suicide and Charlie’s got expelled from his behavior shows we should learn to think before we do something.
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