Dead Poets Society


When I first saw Dead Poets Society, it was nothing I expected. The film is quite serious and it is without question the best movie I've ever seen. It takes place in 1959 at Welton Academy, a private collage prep school for boys where discipline is the most important goal and any demonstration of a free thought is strictly prohibited . One voice stands out among narrow-minded administration-John Keatings, eccentric and inspiring teacher. He wants his students to "suck the bone of life to the marrow", "to seize the day", and to make their lives "extraordinary". Keatings teaches poetry, but his students get a lot more than that- they learn passion, courage, and romance. Group of his students dare to form Dead Poets Society, a secret organization. One of the boys, Neil, who wants to be an actor but whose overbearing father forbids him to , commits a suicide and dies . His roommate , Todd, is trying to live up to expectations after his brother becomes the school's valedictorian. At the end, Mr. Keatings is fired after being accused of having a negative impact on his students.

Self-esteem becomes one of the centers of the movie. Neil's low self-esteem reveals itself only in the relationship with Neil's father, but leads Neil to his tragic end. On the other hand, Todd, with the help of Professor Keatings, was able to build up his self-esteem . John Keatings wasn't a regular professor: his teaching methods were very different from those of others in Welton Academy. The relationship between Todd and professor Keatings is quite interesting because we can see the transformation that Todd went through from being afraid to answer teacher's question to being the first one to show his appreciation for Mr. Keatings when doing so could lead to expelling from the school.

It is very interesting to see how John Keatings establishes the relationship with his students. He is quite open with his students about his attitude towards the world and his ideas about the purposes of life, and other general things, however, at the same time he doesn't reveal his personal life. This is very understandable due to the fact that he is a teacher, and his role as a teacher prevents him from getting too personal with his students. Moreover, in my opinion, it was very important to keep this barrier between the professor and his students because otherwise they could've lost their respect for him as a teacher. At the same time, Keatings was eccentric and open enough to make his students be interested in him which helped in getting their attention to poetry.

Unfortunately, we live in the world "with more emphasis on what is wrong with us than on what's right about us" (Michael Cody), and because of that there are people who depend on the approval of others in order to feel good about themselves. People with low self-esteem try to avoid showing their unfavorable characteristics and in order to do so they avoid taking action at all. When Todd Andersen refuses to read his poem in professor Keatings' class, he is afraid of getting negative opinion from his classmates, moreover, he truly believes that he is not able to write poetry. However, John Keatings neither gives him an "F" nor lets him sit down. What does he do? He makes Todd believe in himself. He says: "Mr. Anderson thinks that everything inside of him isworthless and embarrassing, isn't that right Todd, isn't that your worst fear? Well, I think you're wrong, I think you have something inside of you that is worth a great deal."Saying this was enough to make Todd believe that he is just as any other students of his class is able to write a poem. And he does improvise a poem so well that he impresses Keatings and all his friends. When individuals experience success, they grow in self-confidence. And as their self-esteem grows, they will feel more comfortable to face new challenges.

Perhaps the highest purpose of education is for the individual to become aware of oneselves because when people know themselves they can maximize good outcomes, for it is through awareness that we are able to choose our goals and create our destiny. Todd suffers from low self-esteem, and this low self-esteem prevents him from seeing his own strength thus making Todd to be unaware