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Fernandez, Lindsay C.

AB Eng 4A
Reader Response on Dead Poets Society
Before watching the movie, I was a wee bit excited since most of the time, in our
Contemporary Literary Theory subject, we read literary pieces and apply a corresponding literary
criticism later on so Im really delighted that we get to deviate and watch some movie. Ive never
encounter the story Dead Poets Society before until we were given an opportunity to experience
watching it on school and Im glad this is actually my kind of movie.
I enjoyed watching the movie since it mainly revolves on a teacher with a queer kind of
teaching, who became the teacher of teenagers, practicing what he told them the first day of their
class Carpe Diem, which denotes seize the day, while theyre enrolled in an academy for boys
that is ironically implementing strict rules. The English teachers, Mr. Keatings, introductory
part where he whistles already gave me the speculation that woah, his class is going to be great.
When he took the boys to the hallway and told them that they are powerful individuals and told
them to call him Oh captain, my captain, confirmed my suspicion.
I think, the best part of his class was when they are supposed to discuss about poetry and he
instructed the students to rip off the first pages in the book because that is plainly amazing. I
admire him for letting the students think on their own and not rely on certain theories printed on
a book. That time, I honestly want to belong to his class and rip my own book.I was also amazed
when he insisted for the students to stand over their table to have a different view of the world.
Theres no doubt why students are fond of Mr. Keating because I think, teachers must be like
him who really wants students to experience a kind of learning thats not only confined in the
knowledge found in the pages of a book but the overall learning about life itself. If I would be a
teacher, I would also let my students think on their own and not conform to certain theories on
printed pages.
Anyway, given the situation, its thrilling on the parts where a group of students started the
new Dead Poets Society being members themselves and defy the academys rule to go out and
recite poems inside the cave using the book of the original Dead Poets Society, to which Mr.
Keating belongs. Aside from the thrill, its also laugh educing since they are doing hilarious

things inside their claimed headquarters. Its really thrilling whenever they go out to head to their
secret place where they have their session and sometimes, I was worried that theyre going to be
caught. I envy them a little for having the experience though. Luckily, on the first parts, they
werent since given the academy theyre enrolled in, the assumed punishment would be painful.
I thought this movie somehow resembles the movie Three Idiots particularly in the scene
where Neil Perry, the founder of the resurrected Dead Poets Society, is being told what and who
he has to be. Like the part in Three Idiots where Farhans father wants him to be an engineer
when in truth he wants to be a wildlife photographer, in Dead Poets Society, Mr. Perry wants
Neil to be a doctor when in fact, he wants to be a stage actor so I was actually expecting a
different ending on Neils part. Though him being dead is quite on the list to expect, I didnt shed
a tear since I deliberately focused my attention on expecting that he will act in front of his father
and he will end up in a dramatic realization letting his son do what he wants. If I were in Neils
situation, I wouldnt have the courage to end my own life especially using a gun. I think I would
just go to a far city and continue my passion then Ill send letter to my friends and parents. I
would wait for my father to realize how important acting is to me and how happy I will be for
pursuing it. Though I understand him for committing a suicide. I think he got too confused and
found no way of deviating from his fathers ideals. I just hope his story ended in a different way
since Im not fond of people dying because of hopelessness. I wish his friends have known his
situation and got the chance to hear the war going on inside his mind. They couldve enlightened
him and stopped him from taking his own life. Anyway, if were going to look at it on another
side, his story can somehow appeal to those persons who watched the movie and are in the same
situation and learn something from it. His death can also affect the views of the parents whove
watched the movie and may change their stand towards their childrens passion and future
profession. I just hope this wont happen to others in real life since every life is sacred.
This movie also featured a love story which I find cute though the guys efforts seemed futile
at first. Their story started when Knox was invited to attend a dinner party and a beautiful girl
who opened the door caught his eyes as well as his heart. Though Im a bit irritated with the girl
by going out with Knox while shes still in a relationship, I admire Knox for making an effort to
have the girl of his dreams despite of knowing that shes already taken. My heart broke a little
for him in the part where he bicycled himself to reach the girls academy only to find her kissing
another guy. His shift from being madly in love to being broken hearted is kind of funny though,

especially when he talks about it to his friends. In the end, I was glad his efforts fruited a
reciprocated love.
What really affected me was the story of Todd Anderson, the roommate of Neil, who
happened to be extremely shy though hes veritably great. I feel that I can somehow relate to him
because I know the feeling of having the aptitude but not the gut to showcase such. Sometimes, I
feel socially awkward too since Im not good at starting nor maintaining conversations. I often
ask close-ended questions which shuts the conversation down once the answer has been
delivered. Like Todd, I was also afraid to speak inside the classroom where all eyes will be
fixated on me while I speak; I remain passive, during class discussions though I have an idea to
spill. But unlike him, Ive got loving parents who never forced me to be someone they want me
to be and let me do whatever I please as long as it wont do peril to my studies. I like the part
when Mr. Keating assigned them to write a poem and instructed them to recite it in front of the
class which is actually one of the peeks of Todds story. He was shy back then, as I expected, and
told Mr. Keating that he had no assignment but Mr. Keating ushered him in front and covered his
eyes while asking to describe whats happening and due to pressure caused by Mr. Keating, Todd
was able to recite a whole new poem which received glorious claps. If I belong to their class, Id
clap even harder because I know how hard that is for him.
My mind twisted at the last part where the Mr. Perry hold Mr. Keating as liable for his sons
suicide and members of the new Dead Poets Society are forced to sign a document saying that
Mr. Keating is the one who encourage them to start the Dead Poets Society again and persuaded
Neil to defy his father. I hate it when the members are reminded that theres a corresponding
punishment for their defiance to the extent of expulsion and not being welcomed in their parents
home afterwards. We can see that students are being intimated to sign against their will since
they are threatened with an aftermath that any teenager wouldnt like to have. I hate the
situations where you are presented with options but other considerations will lead you to
choosing the option you dont want to choose at all.
The last part where Mr. Keating was already replaced by a teacher with a conventional way
of teaching and was getting the things he left, I would really like to applaud because Todd found
the gut to speak up and stand over his desk and initiated saying Oh captain, my captain which
was gradually followed by others until the new teacher thoroughly lose control and it was
actually a good and satisfying ending.

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