Transcendentalism in Movies

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Perhaps one of the most meaningful maxims Emerson wrote would have to be "Insist on yourself, never imitate." This statement captures the total essence of transcendentalism; deny the will and aspirations of others, and follow your own heart.The movie Dead Poets Society begins by introducing the viewers to Todd Anderson, a very subdued and quiet young man. Todd has the average inferiority complex. He is a very bright young man with exceptional abilities. Todd is unwilling to speak his mind for fear of non-acceptance. Charles Dalton is a seemingly average student with a rebellious attitude. He has already realized that the students are being "brainwashed" into living a preordained life. Neil Perry is another young man who realizes that his life is being planned out in front of him. He feels that he has no voice in his life. Their English professor, Mr. Keating, radically changes the lives of all of these students. Mr. Keating encourages Todd to speak up and voice his opinions. He makes Todd realize that the world will accept him because his thoughts and feelings are so deep and heartfelt. Charles Dalton receives just the spark he needs for action from Mr. Keating. He reforms a group called the Dead Poets Society. Nothing really happens at the meetings other than the reading of poetry for inspiration in life. Neil, perhaps the most perplexing character in the movie, discovers his dream in life is to be an actor. His father, for a reason none other than love, strongly opposes this career move. He feels that acting is not financially rewarding enough for his son to survive. He wants Neil to be doctor. In an emotionally charged scene, Neil finds that he doesn't want to cope with a life that doesn't involve acting, and he takes his own life.In the movie Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams plays a psychiatrist giving therapy to a character played by Matt Damon. Damon's character, Will, is a math genius who has severe social problems stemming from a...
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