Dead Poet Society

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Supporting Transcendentalism

In the movie Dead Poet Society the high school students at Welton Academy have a teacher named Mr. Keating. Mr. Keating teaches the boys in his class how to live a life with transcendental values. By doing this, he teaches the boys how to be self-reliant on themselves and how to show individuality. He doesn’t teach his class like other teachers. He doesn’t go straight from the book like every other teacher, instead he actively teaches them how to write poetry and be themselves. Having transcendental values has both good and bad effects on people. Yes, transcendentalism values give people a sense of individualism, but maybe those people need the input from others. Transcendentalism is a good thing because it gives a person a feel for what they want, and not what other people want; that’s true happiness.

Mr. Keating exemplified Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau very well with his transcendental teachings. He teaches his English class, which includes Neil Perry, Todd Anderson, Knox Overstreet, Charlie Dalton, Richard Cameron, Steve Meeks, etc., important lessons not for English class, but for life itself. One day, Mr. Keating brought the boys outside into the courtyard and made them walk in circles. This was to let the boys see who they really were by seeing that they all had different ways of stepping. The boys thought this lesson was silly but it really helped all of them see that they shouldn’t live life the way other people want them to, but instead, how they want to live themselves. The way Mr. Keating taught, brought the fun out in the boys. He said in class on day “To be great, is to be misunderstood”(Emerson186) which a quote by Ralph Emerson. The boys took this quote to heart. The boys needed someone at Welton Academy that wasn’t so strict and harsh and Mr. Keating was exactly that. The latin teacher McAllister was someone who opposed to Mr. Keating’s teachings. The first day of class for the boys in Mr....
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