Dead Poets Society Character Analysis

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In the film, Dead Poets Society, students at Welton Academy (who are accustomed to strict discipline) are suddenly experiencing change when a new teacher, John Keating(a former student and a member of the Dead Poets Society), arrives to teach them English with unorthodox methods, opening up a new world for the students. The students all react differently to Keating: some resist while others do not change at all. Charlie Dalton (a rebellious and rich boy) becomes even further rebellious and gets himself expelled; Todd Anderson transforms and finds his own “voice” and Richard Cameron, a true pragmatist, remains unchanged. In the end, every boy’s true colours are revealed. John Keating

John Keating, a.k.a. Mr Keating, is a romantic teacher who graduated from the Welton Academy years ago. He came from London and left his spouse to teach. He is a very passionate person and uses unorthodox methods of teaching which his students have never experienced before. His core belief is: 1. To contribute a meaningful verse, so that when it came time for them to die, they would not “discover that they had not lived. He also claims that “occupations are noble pursuits to sustain life, but passion is the reason to live”. This is in direct contrast to what the school teaches. He is also suspected to have been rebellious to the conformity of the school- we find out that he was a member of the Dead Poets Society (DPS). However he does warn his students that while passion is the reason to live, tradition and discipline are also required to live a balanced life. Keating tells his students that they should call him “O Captain! My Captain“. This is symbolic in the way that in the poem, the ship is victorious but the captain lays dead. In a similar style, Keating attempts to empower his students with passion and help them find a voice but loses his job in the process. However, when the students salute Keating by standing on the desks, we are shown that Keating did not lose his job in...
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