Dead Poets Society and One flew over the Cuckoo‘s nest

Bill Beattie once said, "The aim of education should be to teach us how to think rather than what to think- ratherto improve our
minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men." Too often it does happen when
our individual thoughts are crushed by the powerful forces of conformity. In the film Dead Poets Society, conformity exercises its
influence in which the results may prove to be disastrous for some. For other's the effect of conformity obliges them towards their
individual strength and self-discovery.

In Welton Academy, all ofthe students, which are made up of different personalities, are expected to learn all the same lessons
in all the exact same ways. Instead of having to Ieam the material, they are forced to memorize the most important information and
regurgitate these facts on the exam. While chemistry involves memorizing, and Latin involves narrating ofthe teacher, the
instructors are pleased with this and believe that as long as the student continues to do as he is told, he will become successful in
life. Modem education in both this time and now, is one ofthe largest "offenders" when it comes to conformity. This problem is
illustrated repeatedly in the film Dead Poets Society.

"Carpe Diem" in the film Dead Poets Society includes an environment, which is both rigid and strict. At Welton Academy there
were four pillars of morality that the students were expected to abide by. These included excellence, honor, tradition and discipline.
A new English teacher was appointed to teach English at Welton Academy. John Keating brought with him a style that promoted the
talents of one individual. He challenged his students to think for themselves and to resist conformity. He has taught the boys so
many lessons in which they would have never Ieamed from any otherteacher. He illustrates how conformity affects people by
displaying a lesson to his students while involving the students to walk around the courtyard. He instructs three of his pupils to walk
around the courtyard. These three boys walk in unison while the remainder ofthe boys begin to clap in time with the marching. He
simply asks the boys why they are clapping, and they do not know why. Could it simply be that the boys were clapping because
they were enjoying themselves? It cannot be disputed that the group conformed without thinking. The point of the exercise was to
prove that after walking for a little while, everyone would soon start to imitate. He wanted to show them how difficult it is to maintain
your own beliefs. He wanted the boys to follow the understanding that no matter what, you should always do what you believe, and
maintain your individuality no matter what people say orwhat they tell you to do. In other words, Mr. Keating was teaching his
students to believe differently than what Welton Academy was teaching them. Again, by looking over scenes from the movie, and
lines from the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman, we can see just how important the lessons were that Keating was
trying to teach the boys. Mr. Keating reminded his students and encouraged them to seize each day and cherish them dearly.

From the first day of Keating's teachings, one could easily notice that he had an original method ofteaching. On the first day, he
entered the classroom he was whistling a song and demanded that the students proceed outside the classroom to read a poem.
After reading the poem he took the students to the showcase to show them pictures of former alumni who were once where they
were standing but were now dead. In doing so he was trying to prove to his students that opportunities await for us every day. And
we need to make the decision as to whether we want to take on those opportunities orto play it safe. He encouraged all of his
students to take risks and that nothing could be accomplished without taking risks. Keating taught them that the great lesson of life
was for living it for you and for nobody else. For example, Neil went to Mr. Keatings office to ask him advice about his father
objecting to his acting. Neil had a strong passion for acting in which his father disproved of greatly. His father