April 5, 2014
The Outsider and Dead Poet’s Society Comparative Essay
“I find that the very things that I get criticized for, which is usually being different and just doing my own thing and just being original, is the very thing that’s making me successful.” Country singer Shania Twain explains that the things she does in her daily life, making her different from everyone else, actually makes her unique, despite the fact that it goes against social norms. A non-conformist person is someone who goes against societal norms because they are an individual who will do what they prefer to do, regardless of what others may think. In the novel The Outsider, Meursault is indifferent and passive to a conventional life that is not worth living. He refuses to be anything but himself, regardless of the price he must pay. In contrast, Keating in Dead Poet’s Society, responds to such a society by actively and passionately trying to make a difference by nurturing each person to be free to reach his or her potential and essence. Unfortunately, the society surrounding that person is responsible for crushing that individual’s essence. Those who refuse to conform to such a society are judged negatively and consequently, feel alienated. Both Keating and Meursault are strangers in a society that wants to dictate their expected behaviour and actions. Society seeks to imprison their individual freedom. In both the novel The Outsider and the movie Dead Poet’s Society, Meursault and Mr. Keating go against what society thinks and by doing so both characters are punished. Meursault from the novel The Outsider was seen as a social outcast from everyone and did not fit the role of a “normal” person in society. Meursault’s reaction to events that happened around him did not change the type of person he was, regardless of the fact that many people in his community were astonished and did not agree with the way he acted towards life. He...
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