Books and Movies Reviews

Realism vs. Romanticism in Dead Poets Society

The movie Dead Poet's Society contrasts the ideas of realism and romanticism.The idea of romanticism is based upon individuality, self-expression, sincerity, spontaneity, and originality.Realism deals with the concrete, physical, and the here and now.Many people and places in the movie represent one of the two ideas.
Thefirst instance of this is where the school is located.Romanticism is seen in the vast area of nature surrounding the school.While the school made with its stone and concrete represents realism.Once inside the school all ideas of individuality and self-expression are vanquished, until Mr. Keating arrives.In contrast with the rest of the staff Mr. Keating brings romanticism inside the concrete realist walls.Before Mr. Keating arrives, all of the students strictly followed their parent's orders and never truly thought for themselves.However, after experiencing Mr. Keating's classes some students and others begin to change from realists to romanticists.For instance, the Dead Poet's Society had been trapped in realists walls but the students bring the romantic club back to life.Where the society meetings took place was outside the concrete school and amidst the beautiful nature around them.Neil Perry changed from an optimistic realist to a true romantic.Atfirst he wanted to take the world by storm, but was struck down by his sternly realist father.After classes and meetings with Mr. Keating he became audacious.First by making Todd's desk set "fly", writing a third person letter to his father about his acting in a play, and then convincing his father to allow him to act in the play.Neil's suicide was also distinctly romantic in the fact that it was spontaneous and he would not let his individuality and self-expression be defeated.Todd Anderson was another character who changed from a realist to a romantic.He said nothing and did nothing until…


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