1. Make a list of the major characters and think of two or three apt words that describe that character.
Popular leader actor passionate
Academically focused , idealistic, romantic
Rebellious reckless recalcitrant
Ambitious assiduous compliant
Socially awkward , introverted, takes risks
academically gifted, embracive
Dominating, closed minded,
Inspiring , challenging, resourceful
Spoiled, popular, bully
2. Write a blurb for the cover of the video of Dead Poets Society. You will need to summarise the essentials of plot, characters and themes and keep your word length to around 150 words! New England, the 1950s. Todd Anderson, a lonely timid teenager, who is under pressure by his strict and controlling parents because he must live up to his older brother’s reputation to attend Yale to become a lawyer. This semester begins during an orientation gathering with a speech given by the stern Headmaster Nolan, who states the academy’s four pillars: Tradition, Honor, Discipline, and Excellence. Todd meets Neil Perry an ambitious student whom becomes his dorm roommate. Together, Todd, Neil and other class mates join to create ‘Dead Poets Society’ which had been inspired by Mr. Keating, who becomes known not only as a teacher but a role model in these student. Keating begins to push the students to strive and seize the day. With encouragement and joy also comes trouble, hurt and loss. Watch the heart telling story unfold a realistic perspective of students striving for independence.
3. Write a detailed description of one of the following characters: character: Mr Perry
Mr. Perry is Neil’s paternalistic and dominating father. He is determined that Neil will finish school at Welton and study medicine. To this end, he ensures that Neil is focused and not distracted by unnecessary extra-curricular activities such as the school magazine. Neil rebels against this but unable to confront his father, ultimately decides that he is “trapped”. Mr. Perry’s refusal to support Neil’s acting aspirations ultimately lead to Neil’s death 4. One of the themes of the film is conflict, both the conflict characters feel internally and the conflict that occurs between characters. Explain this statement and give examples to illustrate how this theme was dealt with in the film. Conflict in the film ‘Dead Poets Society’ had played a major role in this movie. Certain aspect of the movie not only showed physical conflict but also the mental conflict of the boys that had then began contemplating whether they should do certain action or not.
One of the major conflicts in the movie ‘Dead Poets Society’ had been between Neil and His Father who was known as Mr Perry. Neil battles the courage to follow his dream as an actor after realising his father and himself had different life goals. Mr Keating help Neil to realise to strive for what he thought was more important instead of living his life working for his father’s approval and expectation. Neil concluded in losing his battle to confront his father on his interest in becoming actor, which concluded in his suicide. Which caused some of boys to blame Mr Keating for his death. 5. The first poem Mr Keating reads in class is Robert Herrick’s To the Virgins, to make much Time. Read the poem carefully and explain how the poem relates to one of the themes of the film. Keating served a similar role to his students. He ‘led’ them through the rough years of High School, all the while encouraging them to try new things and live their lives as they wish, rather than to society’s standards. The kids in the movie begin to refer to Keating as “My Captain”
6. Mr Keating asks his students to address home with “Captain My captain!” Walt Whitman, a famous American poet wrote a poem entitled O Captain! My Captain! The poem is about Abraham Lincoln, the 16th. President of the United States. Read the poem carefully and then read the biography extract. Within the poem there are symbols that represent things associated with Abraham Lincoln’s life. A writer uses symbols to emphasize the point he or she is making; to underline the theme. When a writer uses a symbol or symbols extensively the piece of writing is called an allergy. O Captain! My Captain! Is an allegorical poem. Explain the Symbols used in the poem. That is, explain the allegorical nature of the poem.
Throughout the poem, the poet uses metaphors to share his ideas. He uses “captain” Abraham Lincoln. The “ship” is the civil war. He refers to the civil war as the “victor ship”. This is because Lincoln had served as a commander of the civil war. At the end of the first verse, Lincoln dies while “bleeding drops of red”. “From fearful trip the victor ship comes in the with object won.” Whitman focuses on that right after the Civil war ends, Lincoln dies. He does that with the poem too, by saying, “The port is near” and then later saying “where on the deck the captain lies, fallen cold and dead.” Whitman also refers to Lincoln as a father, because he is the father of his nation. The speaker of the poem does not want to believe that the captain is dead, by saying, “My Captain does not answer his lips pale and still, My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will.” But then, sadly, he realizes that the captain will not return.
7. Mr Keating tells his students, “Learn to savour words and language; words and language can change the world. “On the 4th of June 1940, Britain was surrounded by an invading German military force. The situation seemed completely hopeless; Britain, protected only be the twenty miles of the English Channel prepared for invasion. (a) Explain how you think these words inspired a nation in a time of crisis: I guess it inspired the nation as to become the better people of the situation, and not only that but words do become more meaningful when words are savoured. (b) After Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I have a dream’ people realised that they have the same goals for life and that everyone could dream together. Also that they had been discriminating for no reason because at the end of the day, our character isn’t defined by the way you look, but the person on the inside.
8.”Mr Keating was responsible for Neil’s death.” Do you agree? No. Mr Keating had been an inspiring character for Neil to look up to. He pushed Neil and encouraged him to seize the day and follow his dream.
9. Neil: Sorry for becoming the person I have been urging to set free, Sorry I see what I had been longing to be, Me! Someone I haven’t thought about in a long time and it’s the first time I am beginning to become like a tree, Free flowing as the wind gust blow the braches to where it must flow, But are the braches blowing in the wind gust, flowing just to be free? So many time I have been expected to follow, and do as you say. But for once I feel a sense of control in my life that does no end up where you want me to be. Carpe Diem, seize the day, an eye opening phrase which has had me thinking… Are you doing what is bests for you or doing what’s best for me.
10. What impressed the students the most about ‘Dead poets Society is the realities that appear throughout the movie. It shows the boys standing up for their rights and believing in themselves and also the struggles and pressure of living up to their parents expectations. Mr Keating is very realistic in certain aspect of life and that’s what the students really liked.
(b) The poem shows a sense of independence. Though all the doubts and excuses they had gone through, at the end they soared, and became independent and had heard there inner voice and opinions. They learnt how to express themselves through words they spoke. And the spoken words were confident.
11. ‘Strive to find your own lives’ Mr Keating tell his students. This statement tell us that we should no longer follow expectations and commitments that our hearts don’t follow. It tells us that we should work hard to become what we want in life, but not only that but do things that make us happy, explore into the world and discover what we urge to become. Create yourself a life that does not revolve over someone else’s satisfaction.
12. Mr Keating left that class room with the upper hand. He left with respect from the boys and also the purpose he had been trying to fulfil in these boys. He watched them come to the edge and protest for what they believed was right. He held his dignity high above his head, as he knew that at the end of the day, the boys seized that moment to protest their respect for Mr Keating.