Dead Poets Society and Individualism

Topics: Individual, Individualism, Ralph Waldo Emerson Pages: 3 (806 words) Published: March 28, 2013
Preston Herring
English 200
February 6, 2013
Dead Poet’s Society and Individualism

In the movie, Dead Poet’s Society, it conveys the thought of individualism and how it can impact your life as a whole in detail. The many conflicts that the characters face throughout the movie demonstrate how the thought of thinking for one’s self is shameful and how being different and sticking out from the crowd is looked down upon. Neil Parry’s suicide for instance illustrates the consequences that can happen when someone’s individual thoughts and feelings are not listened to and authority’s tradition is allowed to prevail against individualism. On the other hand the triumph of the individual thoughts and beliefs may sometimes have a positive outcome like in the case of Knox Overstreet. When Knox becomes obsessed with Chris, without even meeting her, he ends up risking his life to win her heart. In both cases, characters go with their individual thoughts and beliefs to make their choices and stop obeying traditional authority figures. The whole group of friends of Neil Parry and Todd Anderson embark on a trip of finding themselves and individual growth that will have a lasting impact on their futures. Not everybody can have the inner strength to stand up for their individual thoughts. An example is Neil Parry’s unfortunate suicide. When Neil decides to pursue a career in acting rather than in medicine his father, Mr. Parry, is furious. Unemotional by Neil’s extraordinary performance in the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mr. Parry continues to insist on controlling Neil’s life and dictating his every move. But Mr. Parry’s efforts were in vain. Neil had already experienced freedom once before, a privilege not easily obtained. With this taste of freedom he realizes that he can think for himself and do great things on his own. Neil eventually stands up to his father, but can’t express his opinions and emotions to the increasingly angered old school man that his father is....

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