The Walton Academy Is founded on the values of tradition and excellence, and Is fixed on providing students with a strict, structured lesson curriculum set by the realist administration. With every new semester, many sons are left in the hands of Walton Academy, in hopes that they become doctors and lawyers. However, when a Walton alumnus returns as an English teachers, he brings with him the passion for romanticism, widening the horizons of his students. The story is mainly viewed through the eyes of Todd Anderson and his roommate Neil Perry.
Todd is an overly unconscious and shy character who is constantly afraid of not living up to the expectations that the people around him have, given that his brother was a former valedictorian. Nell on the other hand, Is ambitious and outgoing, but Is always suppressed by his predominant father, who dictates how Nil’s life should be run. The new English teacher John Keating begins his teachings with a fervent lecture on their imminent deaths, explaining to the students that their lives are fleeting so they should seize the day to make their lives count, to leave a legacy of “carper diem.
He continues his teaching by instructing the class to rip out the pages of their books which describe a scientific way to determine the greatness of poetry. He teaches them the works of the romantic poets such as Thoreau and Lord Byron and employs outdoor exercises to warn them of the dangers of conformity and the power of sports as a way which human beings push each other to excel. Amidst these eccentric activities, the students, intrigued with their new teacher, learn that he was a member of the Dead Poets Society.
When asked, Keating describes glorious moments of creating gods, but warns them to forget about the idea. Nevertheless, they repeatedly sneak off campus to convene their own version of the Dead Poets society. Todd Is allowed to attend as an exception: since he does not want to read aloud, he keeps minutes of the meetings. Throughout these meetings, each character is able to develop his own romantic or realist nature. The shocking clash between realism and romanticism begins to unfold when Charlie Dalton prints an obnoxious article In the school news in the name of the Dead Poets.
The administration is appalled and begins an investigation. Meanwhile, fall madly in love with a girl who is practically engaged to the son of his parent’s friends. He pursues her relentlessly, driven by romantic Ideals, In the face of the threats on his life by her boyfriend. Nell realizes that his real passion in life is acting and proceeds to land the role of Puck in a Midsummer Night’s Dream at the local theater. He begins to weave a tangled web of deception by failing to inform his father, then lying to Mr.. Keating when his father finds out and demands he quit the play.
Feeling trapped, after his final performance and a standing ovation, he takes his own life. Ultimately, the administration links his death to the Dead Poets Society, and pushes the blame towards Mr.. Keating for reviving the past. Each student is then forced to sign a document blaming Mr.. Keating for Nil’s death, which leads to him being fired from his Job. In one final scene, displaying the beauty of a balance between the two Ideals, Todd Is able to cry UT to Mr.. Keating, who stopped by the class to collect his belongings, “O Captain, my 1 OFF climbing to the top of his desk to salute his fallen teacher, who changed his life.
Context Dead Poets Society was set in the conservative and aristocratic Walton Academy, Vermont 1959. Although the film and book were both set in the 20th century, the main focus of the story centre around two 19th century values/movements, namely the realist and the romantic. These two themes are the essential components that bind the story together. Both themes are crucial to the story as much of the storyline, literary and film devices and implemented in order to better complement and bring out the essence of the two themes.
Hence, when analyzing the differences between the book and the film, it is important to note how each feature in each respective avenue brings the themes across. At various instances, the portrayal of realism and romanticism can be subtle, but can also be extremely blatant. When attempting the comparative analysis of the book and film, it is necessary to always consider the eating and themes of the story in order to better understand the different components and their workings within the book and film.
The definitions of realism and romanticism help set a clearer, stronger grounding for the analysis. Realism (Britannica Online): “Realism rejects imaginative idealization in favor of a close observation of outward appearances. ” “Realism… Usually stemmed either from artists’ desire to present more honest, searching, and initialized views of everyday life or from their attempts to use art as a vehicle for social and political eroticism. “Realism’s emphasis on detachment, objectivity, and accurate observation, its lucid but restrained criticism of social environment and mores, and the humane understanding that underlay its moral Judgments… ” Romanticism (Britannica Online): “Romanticism emphasized the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental. ” “was marked by emphasis on originality and individuality, personal emotional expression, and freedom and experimentation of form. “