Todd was insecure about himself and his skills in public speaking. Todd didn’t want to Join Neil and the other boys in their quest to start the Dead Poets Society because he didn’t want to read poetry in front of all the boys. Within the first thirty minutes of the film, we learn that Todd had an older brother that was valedictorian at Walton, he was also a National Merit Scholar. This obviously put the pressure on Todd to match his brother’s expectations. The fear of failure and disappointment can cause many students to either work harder or in Toddy’s case, cause you to be timid and have self- doubt.
Todd believed he was unable to match the sociability and openness of his allow classmates and his self-esteem sunk even lower. Mr.. Keating continuously focused on the idea of carper diem, meaning to seize the day. Seize the day is a phrase defined as making the best or the most out of the present moment. In other words, to live in the now. Through this idea, Mr.. Keating was able to influence his students to do exactly that. Mr.. Keating assigned the boys to write a poem and Todd worked with great determination to create said poem. Unable to face his fears, he decides to lie and say he didn’t write it.
This shows the intensity of his self-doubt and bashfulness. He’d rather get a zero than get up to the class and share his work. Mr.. Keating forces him to shout noises in front of the class, as if it were to help him release his inhibitions. And after that Todd successfully delivers an improvised poem, proving his intelligence and poetic talent to everyone. Todd truly overcomes his fear in the climax of the movie. It was through the suicide of his beloved friend, Neil, that he was able to pursue his own individuality and truly apply carper diem to his life. Todd eradicates any and all of the fear left in him when he gave his farewell to Mr..
Keating. By standing on top of the desk, and eying “O Captain! My Captain! ” Todd annihilated the shackles of conformity put on him by Walton. Soon all the boys followed suit except Cameron and a few others. This scene depicted Toddy’s true inner self, which is a natural born leader and an exceptional achiever. Although he seemed like a timid and self-conscious student, Todd Anderson proved to be a remarkable and outstanding person with natural intelligence and creativity. Throughout the film, we see his progress and how he was truly able to overcome his fears of failure and disappointment.