Transcendentalism In Dead Poets Society

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The movie Dead Poets Society has quite a few connections with the world of transcendentalism. The movie ties in with some of the writings and themes. It also talks about a transcendentalist writing directly in the movie. The movie is about a group of boys who learn to express themselves and decided who they want to be. They learn this because of their teacher in Mr. Keating and the Dead Poets Society, which they found out about because of Mr. Keating. There are many parts of Dead Poets Society that tie in with transcendentalism. One of the first ones is the English class. In the very first class, Mr. Keating says “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, the latin term for that sentiment is Carpe Diem” (Dead Poets Society). Mr. Keating then asks what “carpe diem” means, and one of the students replies with “sieze the day.” Mr. Keating wanted the kids to learn on the first day, that it’s okay to go after your dreams, even if it’s stupid or you have people saying no. Mr. Keating also has some of his classes outside. This connects with the essay Nature by Emerson.
Another example of how the Dead Poets Society relates to transcendentalism is the Dead Poets Society itself. The society that the boys were in helped them realize
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Todd Anderson is the shy, quiet boy that is trying to live up to his older brother. In the beginning, Todd doesn’t really express himself in the movie, but by the end he is standing out from the crowd. Mr. Keating helps Todd understand that it is okay to express yourself. The essay Self Reliance connects with how Todd is and how he develops as a character. “'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood....” (Self Reliance,
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