Dead Poets Society is, by Gene Shalit’s words, “One of the most magnificent motion pictures I’ve ever seen.” Robin Williams stars as professor John Keating at Welton Academy, a prep school set in 1959. It also features an great performance by Ethan Hawke as Todd Anderson, one of the main characters in the movie.
Welton Academy is an all boys prep school that is defined by sports coats and conformity. When professor John Keating comes to teach English, he tells the kids to be free-thinkers from day one. The first lesson he gives is unusual to the students but shows a point. “Carpe Diem! Seize the Day! Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.” All the while, the Dead Poets’ Society, a group of poets and romantics, reconvenes with several students from Keating’s class including Dalton, Perry, Anderson, Pitts, Cameron, Meeks, and Overstreet. They become free-thinkers and Keating shakes things up at Welton, even influencing some of the teachers there to do the same. It all unravels into an unexpected, but one of the greatest, endings.
Dead Poets society is one of the best movies ever made and teaches about the dangers of conformity. This also relates to our eighth grade theme here at Worcester Academy, which is “disturbing the universe.” Keating teaches in an unorthodox way that allows students to see for themselves and to “suck the marrow out of life.” Go and buy Dead Poets Society now. You need to see it.