The essay is about Transcendental themes in the movie "Dead Poets Society."

Essay by nghs22High School, 12th gradeA+, December 2005

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The movie "The Dead Poets Society" is about a group of private school boys in the North East. They encounter a teacher, Mr. Keating, whom is a little different than most teachers. He wanted to instill the motivation to look past what society was telling them to do rather than teach the normal curriculum. He used Thoreau's ideas on transcendentalism by showing them to transcend or go beyond the rules that society poses and create their own independence. Mr. Keating succeeded in his efforts by teaching them to think for themselves.

Director Peter Weir illustrates that the movie "Dead Poet's Society" echoes Transcendentalist notions in content in that self-reliance and individualism must outweigh external authority and blind conformity to custom or tradition, intuition is superior to deliberate intellectualism and rationality and in structure through the idea that one can find truth and beauty in nature.

One of the main ideas of Transcendentalism is that one's own opinions should prevail over deliberate conformity.

Emerson wrote concerning that notion saying, "Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist." Emerson tightly relates one's being with nonconformity, therefore illustrating that one who does conform to society's wishes is less of a man, or yet a real man at all, saying, "Imitation is suicide." He declares conformity is the same as throwing one's own ideas, identity, and soul away, which is the equivalent to ending one's life. Henry David Thoreau has beliefs similar to Emerson on the topic of conformity, stating, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." To hear a "different drummer" insinuates to believe or act differently from the common consensus. Thoreau asserts that...