Dead Poet's Society: Reflective Essay
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Dead Poet's Society: Reflective Essay
This story set in 1959 is about a teacher and his students in an elite school for boys. The culture Welton academy offers is very traditional and teaching style is authoritative but a teacher different than the usual educators is there telling the students to be individual (Kleinbaum). Rather than conforming to the rules of society, he asks the students to find who they are and then choose to be that person. This is the most important thing a person can learn and back then in the era of 80s it wasn't a fond opinion. Even today it is accepted but not completely.
Perception and self-control
Mr Keating is an unusual teacher regarding his teachings and methodology. We all feel the need to stand out, the need to not hide and do what we enjoy doing. This coming from someone else can be the most reassuring thing especially in school life when students are learning about life and themselves and the borders society puts on them. When he says ‘Carpe Diem' it's not just for a specific moment, it is a way of living, doing something extraordinary every day not just for the sake of it (Serey).
The Communication Accommodation Theory
During class, he stands on the desk and reads poetry in a rather aggressive manner. This could be anything to anyone but it is certainly less of defying and more of creativity to me. There is a war going on, of students and people against society, telling them what to do before they are able to do anything. Standing on the desk is something that shows Mr Keating had no care for rules. It was his emotion that took over him when he was conveying his thoughts to the students. A great teacher is one who discusses ideas and lets the kids wonder what they think of it and how they want it. This was quite modern considering that time setup.
Encoding and Decoding Messages
Boys get the idea of a society and start going to the cave to read out their poetries. This is all excitement and a way to discover themselves. Todd realizes his potential and creates a spontaneous poem in front of the school (Vannini). This was what Keating wanted all along. People live their lives in fear and keep postponing things while they know that death is a question of when not if. He asks students to explain the verse with rosebuds and then tells them that people are like rosebuds because they’re going to die one day, hence carpe diem, seize the day before that specific day arrives.
There is another message about delaying things and one couldn’t agree more. There comes a time when a person loses passion and cannot do what they planned to do later. Keatings is telling them all this before they realize it is too late. Such mentors would be a blessing. They give not just bookish knowledge but the actual things a person needs to survive in the world.
Whenever a society or authority is challenged, it keeps its integrity beyond everything else. Similarly, the headmaster Nolan isn't supportive of the teaching methodologies and gathers the students who formed the club and asked them to nominate Keatings responsible for all this, especially the suicide. Authorities are always threatened by the change and people cave in like the students did. They knew Keating was helping them reach their potential and they loved doing the poetry club but they signed against him, even the reluctant one. The society is hard to challenge and people are a great power only if they understand how much they hold in their hands.
Kleinbaum, Nancy H. Dead poets society: a novel. Ernst Klett Sprachen, 2005.
Serey, Timothy T. "Carpe diem: Lessons about life and management from Dead Poets Society." Journal of Management Education 16.3 (1992): 374-381.
Vannini, Phillip. "Dead Poets' Society: Teaching, publish‐or‐perish, and professors' experiences of authenticity." Symbolic Interaction 29.2 (2006): 235-257.
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