The Theme of Alienation in Dead Poets Society, a 1989 American Drama Film

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The movie ’Dead Poets Society’ had many themes in it, but one of the themes that played a big role would be alienation. All of the main characters had felt alienated at least once throughout the movie by their parents and family. But the one character that was the most alienated by their parents, or in this case mainly by his father would be Neil Perry. Neil Perry has been bullied all his life by his father, he always told him what to do and what he will become, yet never let Neil have a say in what he wanted to do or be when he grew up. In the end Neil felt so alone after having his father rip his dreams to pieces, that he felt that the only thing to do was commit suicide. The theme of alienation made me want to never be like Neil’s father, I couldn’t bear thinking about having a child and then pushing him around all throughout his life.

I would want my child to be able to tell me anything and everything, not feel that they can’t tell me something. Never would I ever forgive myself if I ended up being the main reason that my child committed suicide, because he wasn’t happy what was going on in his life or what was to come in the future. I personally have never felt as alone as Neil did in the movie, the closest I have ever been to feeling alienated would be when someone doesn’t listen to whatl have to say about something, and determinates what is going to happen. Recently I felt that my mom was not listening to how I felt about having a note taker be with me in all my classes next year, because I felt that I didn’t need one and everybody, including teachers treated me differently than they did before I had a Para.

In the end though she finally understood what I was going through and how I felt, so we came to a compromise that I would only have a note taker in my college classes. What I learned from watching the movie ’Dead Poet Society’ was that poetry doesn’t always mean what you think is means. Students in Mr. Keating’s class had different opinions on what a poem meant. I realized this was true when we all got into groups, read several poems, and told each other what we thought about them. Most of the time, people in my group thought that the poem was trying to tell us something completely different than what i thought it was trying to tell it to us. But a reader can never be 100 percent sure what the writer of that poem is trying say unless the poet tells us specifically what it meant.

I like it better this way so that we can all compare our ideas on what we think it means so that we can all take another look at it, and possibly see it a completely different way. All of the poems recited in ‘Dead Poet Society’ were all spectacular, each in their own ways. But if I were to have to choose my favorite, it would be ‘0 Captain, my Captain’ by Walt Whitman recited by Mr. Keating. Without a clear background of what the poem is truly about, the reader will simply believe that it is about an honorable leader who fights for what he wants, gets the prize, and then in the end diest This way, many people can connect with the poem and give it their own meaning.

But I liked finding more and more out about it. seeing the true meaning of what is behind each word. Like ’the prize’ stood for the freedom that they had won. In conclusion, the feeling of alienation is one of the main themes in the movie ’Dead Poet Society’ how all of the main characters were alienated at least one time in their life, if not all of their life. This movie could teach not only parents, but anybody that it is important to listen to what other people have to say and to not make them feel all alone. Could you live with yourself if you ever alienated someone to point where they are depressed, or even go to the measure of killing themselves?


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The Theme of Alienation in Dead Poets Society, a 1989 American Drama Film. (2023, Jun 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-theme-of-alienation-in-dead-poets-society-a-1989-american-drama-film/

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