At the Welton Academy new students are taught four pillars which will guide them through their studies: tradition, honour, diszipline and excellence. The headmaster tells them that they are going to work harder than ever before in their lives, but in the end the reward will be success.

As all the students say good-bye to their parents, Todd Anderson is standing around lonely, because his parents are busy talking to other people. Later on he meets Neil Perry, his rommate. As they are settling in their room, suddenly Neil‘s father comes up and tells him that he isn’t allowed to work on the school annual this year because his grades need to improve. As Neil wants to protest and answer, his father doesn’t give him the chance to and leaves. After his father is gone, he desperately regrets the way he reacted.

The first day at the academy is very stressy and the amount of things that need to be learned until the next day is unbelievable. Only the lessons with the new flamboyant teacher John Keating are different. In his lessons, extraordinary themes are talked about and the students learn about poetry and the way of understanding it.

On the next day, one of the students does researches in old annuals and finds out that Keating was very active in Welton as a student, having been a member of the „Dead Poets Society“. Interested, a few students ask Keating to tell them about it. Secretly he tells them that the Dead Poets Society was a group of young people who read all kinds of poetry in a dark cave, creating a special atmosphere. The boys like that idea and they decide to set up the first meeting the same night.

Requirement for being a member is a lifetime full of apprenticeship.

Knox, a member of the Dead Poets Society falls in love with a girl named Chris, who already has a boyfriend. Later on he is invited to a party, where Chris and her friend are, too. There he gets drunk and comes too close to Chris; as a consequence , her boyfriend beats him up. Afterwards, Knox can’t think of anything else but Chris and her disinterest drives him almost crazy. 55384gin49lbi1t

In the upcoming weeks, Keating always uses unusual methods for teaching. Once, for instance, Keating tells them all to tear out a whole page of their books to demonstrate the idea of refusing to read certain things.

The Dead Poets Society meets almost daily and they have lots of fun. But then

a member, Charlie, writes an article in the school-news that girls should be allowed to come to Welton - signed with „Dead Poets Society“. He promises that he will take all the responsibility if headmaster Noel makes any trouble. As Noel then reads the article, he asks Charlie to tell him the names of all the members of the club. Charlie still insists on the statement, that it was all made up by him and so Noel punishes him.

Neil gets passionate about acting and he is sure that this is the thing he wants to do when he is older. He gets the role of a character in the big performance of „A Midsummer Night’s Dream“and he tries very hard to achieve excellence. As he is practicing his texts, one night before the performance, his father comes to him and tells him that he must stop all his activities immediately. Neil is not even allowed to take part in the big performance. ib384g5549lbbi

Later Neil’s friends recommend asking Mr. Keating for advice. Keating tells Neil that the only thing he can do is to talk to his father and show him who he really is.

Knox is crazy about Chris and so he comes to her school and starts reading a love - poem, that he wrote himself, to her. As she refuses to listen and goes into her classroom, he follows her and reads the poem out loud in front of the teacher and all her classmates. In the end he tells her that he loves her and leaves. Neil lies to everbody and says that his father has allowed him to perform and so he goes to the performance. As everyone from the Academy is leaving to go to watch the play, Chris shows up and asks Knox why he bothers her with phone-calls and visits all the time. Then they decide to go to the play together and if she still doesn’t like him after spending the night with him, he’d leave her alone forever. That evening, she falls in love with him too.

So Neil acts although his father has forbidden him to. His father comes to the performance and watches him doing a great job. But after the performance the father angrily makes a scence, puts Neil into his car and takes him away.

At home, his father tells Neil that he is going to go to a military school and then to Harvard to become a doctor. Neil tries to tell his father about his dreem of becoming an actor, but his father ignores his opinion.

As he is gone, the Dead Poets Society holds a session dedicated to Neil with Mr. Keating. As Neil is sitting alone in his room the whole night through, he silently takes his father’s gun, puts on the hat of his costume from the play and shoots himself dead in the hall of his father’s house.

The whole Welton Academy attends the funeral. On the next day one of the members of the Dead Poets Society tells headmaster Noel everything about the club. In the end, Keating takes all the blame.

One by one, all members of the Dead Poets Society are called out to sign a paper, which says that Keating is responsible for all that has happened. Todd Anderson is the only one who doesn’t sign, even though his parents and Noel want to force him to do so.

As Keating is preparing to leave, his former students are having an English class with Noel as substitute. Ready to leave, he slowly walks towards the door.

QUOTE!!! PAGE 164.

Neil Perry: Neil is a great artist and a wonderful person, but due to his education, he doesn’t have enough self confidence. He can’t express his feelings to his father- of course also because he doesn’t get a lot of chances to do so. Neil isn’t familiar with solving problems and when he is stuck with a problem, he is helpless. It is pretty natural, that he committs suicide(That’s exactly what I would’ve done 2)J

John Keating: Keating is a very experienced and brave man. He knows how to motivate students and awaken their interest in quite unusual areas. But his way of teaching doesn’t fit in with the Academy’s style. Though problems with the headmaster and his colleagues come up, he doesn’t change because he is convinced of what he is doing. In the end he shows, that he is willing to take all the responsibility for all that has happened. At last he was able to teach his students what he wanted to: he made them think about everything’s real meaning. He taught that not everything is right the way it is and that it is important to make up one’s mind all by oneself.

Mr. Perry: He wants the best for his son but unfortunately he forgets the need of integrating Neil in making the decisions concerning him. Mr. Perry thinks that he knows what is best for Neil and that his decisions are absolute. Seeing, that Neil has so many more chances than he ever had in his lifetime, he wants him to become the person he had always wanted to be.

Knox: He is hopelessely in love with Chris and he can’t think of anything else. His feelings can’t be hidden and his emotions are stronger than his mind. His love also makes him develop inner strenth and braveness for doing actions to attract Chris.

Headmaster Noel: He is a man, who thinks that tradition is very important. Noel is not open to changes and new ideas. He wants everything to stay the same, is not flexibel enough to adjust to the needs of the students and he is indeed a very strict person.

My Opinion: I think the book was awesome. It was very exciting, interesting and most of all teaching. I learned pretty much from the book and had a great time reading it.

The authors message: First, he wants to show us how difficult it is to bring about changes in our society. Second, he writes about the different ways of educating students. By showing these extremes in this story he wants to raise the reader’s awareness of what we can do wrong in educating our children. Sometimes we do not even realize what we are doing before it is too late. We should listen to the needs of every individual instead of letting our opinion take over, even if we think something’s best for our children.

M e h r s h a d V a f a ie

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