Director: Peter Weir
Screenplay: Tom Schulman
Music score: Maurice Jarre
With Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawk, and others
In 1959, the Welton Academy is a somewhat old-fashioned but well-respected prep school where education is understood to be a rigorous academic learning program combined with the shaping of the students' characters according to explicitly traditionalist ideals. The film begins with a processional march of the students into the main auditorium of the school, where teachers and parents are awaiting the address of the headmaster Mr. Nolan (Norman Lloyd), who inaugurates the new school year by reminding everyone of the high standards of the institution, and the school's high success rate in sending its graduates to Ivy League universities. Students carry banners on which are embroidered the "four pillars" of Welton's pedagogical program: Tradition, Honor, Discipline, and Excellence.
The Welton Academy is located in rural Vermont. The style of its main buildings is imitation-Gothic. The all-male institution is deliberately cut off from the economic and social life of contemporary America. The typical age of its beginning students is sixteen; for most of the adolescents the experience of Welton's rural solitude is somewhat trying. Some call the place "Hellton.” They all groan under the academic work load and many of them feel oppressed by a system that hands out demerits for the slightest infractions of discipline.
During the first scenes in dormitories, hallways, and classrooms we are gradually introduced to the group of students that are at the center of the story: Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard) is a lively A student with natural leadership abilities. He is, however, harshly bullied by his authoritarian father, who tolerates no deviation from the career plans that he has laid out for his son. Neil's room mate Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawk) is a new student; he is shy, insecure, and unhappy.... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2010, 11). Dead Poet Society. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Dead-Poet-Society-500250.html
"Dead Poet Society" StudyMode.com. 11 2010. 11 2010 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Dead-Poet-Society-500250.html>.
"Dead Poet Society." StudyMode.com. 11, 2010. Accessed 11, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Dead-Poet-Society-500250.html.