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Dead Poets Society Criticism in Film Criticism Course

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    • #112972

      Dead Poets Society criticism discussed in our film criticism course forum for ESL students and advanced English learners to immerse themselves naturally in English on a weekly basis.

      Dead Poets Society summary

      Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film directed by Peter Weir, written by Tom Schulman, and starring Robin Williams. Set in 1959 at the fictional elite conservative boarding school Welton Academy, it tells the story of an English teacher who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry.

      The film was a commercial success and received numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations for Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Actor for Robin Williams. The film won the BAFTA Award for Best Film, the César Award for Best Foreign Film and the David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Film. Schulman received an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his work.

      Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/

      Dead Poets Society trailer

      Dead Poets Society analysis

      The most famous quote in Dead Poets Society is “carpe diem,” which means “seize the day” in Latin. Professor John Keating delivers these words to his students on the first day of school at Welton Academy, symbolizing his unorthodox approach to education and his desire to inspire his students to “make their lives extraordinary.” It’s important to understand what Keating means by “seize the day,” what kinds of lives Keating wants his students to live, and how Keating’s philosophy of life is different from that celebrated at Welton Academy.

      Source: https://www.litcharts.com/

      Dead Poets Society criticism

      1. What’s the meaning of carpe diem, and how is it incorporated into the theme of this film?
      2. On a scale of 1 to 10, which score do you give to this inspiring film, and why?
      3. Explain why Mr. Keating was so liked and respected by the majority of the students compared to the other professors at Welton Academy?
    • #113017
      Armaghan Houshmand

      1. Carpe diem means seize the day, living in the moment and to live deliberately. This phrase is the central theme of this movie, when Neil, Todd and other boys of the group decide to somehow try living a fulfilling life and do what Keating told them.
      2. 8.5 is my score to this movie. I really enjoyed the plot and the actings. I found this movie really inspiring especially to young people and teenagers.
      3. When I was in highschool and middleschool, students tended to like teachers with more understanding. I guess what most of the teenagers are looking for is someone to comprehend them. And John Keating was one of those teachers, he helped his students to opens their eyes to a new attitude of living. He wasn’t strict on students but more a friend. He was someone that they could go to and talk.

    • #113070

      My score to this film is 7 not because I didn’t like it, but mainly because I believe Mr. Keating was, to some extent, responsible for the misery inflected on the poor students. Me, as an English teacher, consciously do not attempt to give false hope to my young students who are too emotional. I believe he ignorantly stirred so much internal conflict and strife between the students and their parents and the entire society.

      The secret community, Dead Poets Society, has a nice irony because, in principle, they were thoroughly “alive” compared to the other pseudo-alive poets. I have also major criticism against the education system, curriculum, and school board at Welton Academy.

      The concept of carpe diem is clearly present throughout the film, and it was thoughtfully instilled and indoctrinated to the students, and from this point of view, I draw an analogy between Dead Poets Society and Pay It Forward and Detachment. Accordingly, we could criticize either “Pay It Forward” or “Detachment” for the next session.


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