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Main Idea and Characters of “Dead Poets Society” Film


An astonishing Dead Poets Society film comes from the end of the 20th century and stars Robin Williams. It is based on the sentimental story of teenage boys who joined the society of dead poets – a secret gathering of romantic youths constrained by the framework of everyday life in a gray, uninteresting world. The purpose of television is to convey information to the viewer. Each scene in the movie is within the system of a great representation of building relationships between adolescents of the opposite sex, teachers, and parents, with a special emphasis on the topic of suicide.

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Role of Mr. Keating in the Tragedy

In a diverse society, people often try to shift the blame onto others, even when it comes to such serious topics as suicide. The literature teacher, Mr. Keating, instilled in his students a love of poetry by peculiar methods: he encouraged the young men to tear out pages from textbooks that contradicted his views on poetry of Keating himself, and forced each of his students to open up, was sincerely interested in the affairs of his wards. John Keating is an example of a teacher who is adored and respected by students but feared by parents and school administrators (Wan and Juang 47). Therefore, the parents of one of the characters called, Neil accuse the teacher of their son’s suicide. The points of view on this issue at that time are different.

During the lesson with another teacher, Keating comes to the class with the intention of collecting some of his belongings. The students got up and stood at their desks as a sign of respect for their irreplaceable teacher of literature. And, despite all the tragedy of events, John Keating deserves recognition because it is these teachers who bring up a thinking, talented generation (Wan and Juang 46). He was accused of suicide due to inappropriate communication but remained a good person to other students.

However, without the professor, the fate of the students would have turned out differently. They would not have realized the whole essence of life, did not learn new things, did not develop talents in themselves, did not go against their parents, and did not try what they dreamed of (Salli and Osam 485). Even if this did not last long, they understood all the delights of life.

Role of the Father of Neil Perry in the Tragedy

Due to the popularity in the decade, the diversity and the number of broadcasting channels, the genre structure, and the thematic space have increased. Broadcasting such topics on TV and in movie theaters is important to represent the really existing problem of adolescent suicide. The role of Neil Perry is played by the brilliant actor Robert Sean Leonard. A rebel and romantic by nature, Neil dared to dream and realized that he wanted to pursue acting, but here he is faced with harsh realities. The strict and unprincipled disposition of a father who wants to give his son an education and a career as a doctor resulted in his suicide.

The tragic end can be viewed as a controversial moment in the Dead Poets Society. It would be logical if, after Neal’s suicide, his father changed his mind and allowed him to study theatrical art. But Neal Perry does not even show the fight, and after the final prohibition of the parent, he commits suicide. At the same time, as in real life, parents have a great influence on the child’s life.

The father promises to send Neil to military school, which will prepare him for Harvard and a medical career. Therefore, the father does not take into account the desires of his son, ignores them, and turns a blind eye to them. At the same time, Neil repeatedly indicates his personal wishes but, at a certain moment, loses hope. The conflict leads to the suicide tragedy that affects the lives of Keating and all of his students.

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Society as an interdependent structure

The purpose of the movie is to satisfy the information needs of a person and society. The Society of Dead Poets also reflects the importance of society around each character. The film does not have a protagonist, nor does Mr. Keating or Neil Perry perform this role. Dead Poets Society is a collective concept, but not an individual one. The teacher fulfills his role in his life of Neal, in the formation of his preferences and wishes. The other students and Perry’s father do the same. Neal, in turn, plays a role in their destinies, and his suicide leads to many subsequent events. Thus, the film approaches likeness to the events taking place in real life.

The movie gives a person the right to view oneself as a direct participant in one or another event and form an individual type of perception of a particular part. By watching this film, anyone can make a projection of their own life. The person is surrounded by friends, colleagues, teachers, and parents, who, to a lesser or greater extent, influence his life. Such a concept is applicable to the life of absolutely anyone, which makes it relevant to real events.

Therefore, in the film Dead Poets Society, the life and outcome of events in the history of the Nile may have been influenced not by one or several people but by society as a whole. People around him were looking for identity, and so was he (Muro 208). Each person brought their own detail into the final decision to commit suicide. It was influenced by the teacher, father, and all the other people around.

Opposite Point of View

There is also the opposite view, which claims that the film is a poor representation of the real life of adolescents due to the romanticization of the events. This ability of movies to transmit information can be explained by their specificity as a means of creating, transmitting, and perceiving information. Dead Poets Society film comes across many themes at once. Such topics include the problem of independent choice of life path, a person’s victory over circumstances, the topic of friendship, betrayal, and generational conflict. As the film argues, the awakening of personality among socially acceptable life scenarios will always conflict with the social order.

The film also talks about the need to dare to dream, even if it leads to ruin. The film tells about the search for the right teacher, who is able to reveal those thoughts that were not expressed, and, consequently, about the attempt to free oneself from standard, oppressive opinions. Finding the right teacher means a teacher who will not tell or explain but will open the way to enlightenment, to other dimensions in the ordinary world, by changing the point of view. This is exactly what Keating gives his students, bringing back romance, charm, and intrigue to teaching.


In conclusion, Dead Poets Society is one of the finest works of cinema. It reflects the fact that a person’s uneasy relationship with other members of society can lead to consequences such as suicide. The film is a reflection of events that could have happened in real life both in the 20th century and in modern times. If people understood that this could happen, the desire for mutual understanding and support would probably increase.

Works Cited

Salli, Aysegul, and Ulker Vanci Osam. “Preservice Teachers’ Identity Construction: Emergence of Expected and Feared Teacher-Selves.” Quality & Quantity, vol. 52, no. 1, 2018, 483-500. Web.

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Van Beveren, Laura, et al. “Exploring Educational Taboos Through School Movies. A Rhetorical Analysis of Student-teachers’ Reflections.” Teaching and Teacher Education, vol. 75, 2018, pp. 187-198. Web.

Wan, Yuanyuan, and Xiangyong Juang. “Affective factors in Foreign Language Teaching: Enlightenment From Dead Poets Society.” Higher Education of Social Science, vol. 18, no. 2, 2020, pp. 46-50, Universidad de La Rioja. Web.

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