Dead Poets Society - Novel by N H Kleinbaum

Dead Poets Society

Novel by N.H. Kleinbaum

N.H. Kleinbaum, a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, is a former newspaper reporter and editor. Her other novelizations include the Bantam Starfire title Growing Pains and D.A.R.Y.L. She lives in Mt. Kisco, New York, with her husband and her three children.

The story takes place at Welton Academy, a boys` boarding school that is located in New England. At the opening of the new school year, Neil meets his new roommate, Todd, a shy kid whose older brother graduated as one of the most prominent. At first Todd can hardly bring himself to speak, and is a little intimidate when he meets Neil`s friends. These guys have known each other a while, and they have established routines like study groups and inside jokes that makes it hard for Todd to fit in. Things aren´t easy for Neil, too because his father wants to control his life, he wants him to become a doctor.

In these kids` hard lives comes a breath of fresh air in form of their new English teacher, John Keating. His motto is carpe diem-seize the day. This is carried out in a series of class experiments like yelling out famous quotes or standing up on the teacher`s desk for a different perspective.

The boys discover that when Mr. Keating was a student at Welton, Keating was part of a group called the Dead Poets Society. They start to revive the tradition of the Dead Poets Society. They meet in a cave and read poetry to each others. There Neil found his passion for acting. He decides to play the role of Puck in "A Midsummernights Dream" even though his father is against it. When his father finds it out he wants to send Neil to a military school. Neil is so desperate he can`t understand his father`s attitudes, he wants to live his own life. There is no way out of his father`s hands so Neil shoots himself.

Seeking a scapegoat they try to persuade the members of the DPS to blame Mr. Keating to save their own lives. Todd is the only one who struggles. Nevertheless Mr. Keating is send away but in the end the DPS dismiss him with a silent salute in unity.



He is the new English teacher, once he was a member of the Dead Poets Society but he wishes to forget the past. He wants to wipe out the past and to forget what he had become in the past. He took steps not to follow certain passions in his life, but he still had teaching and that becomes his passion. His motto is carpe diem but he wants his pupils to know that romanticism needs to be controlled. He explains that they are all going to die eventually, so it is up to them to make the most of their lives - to seize the day before it is too late.


I think Todd is the only one who understands what Keating is trying to teach and the only who is able to control his passions .At first Todd is quiet, even in the Dead Poets Society Todd is the observer not a participant. He is afraid to read out loud. Neil tries to stir him up. Todd`s fear is that his life has no meaning.

Todd is the last of the five to sign the confession implicating Keating in Neil`s death. He feels guilty that he does so and to show his loyality Todd stands upon his desk in the end. 


Everything in Knox life occures out of impulse, he is in love with Cris and uses poetry to impress her. He throws himself into romanticism and uses that as a interpretation of carpe diem. I think if he has not gotten Chris he would kill himself like Neil does. His entire existence revolves around Chris.

Knox also doesn`t use any kind of caution and I think he risks a lot for a girl he never talked to. Just because in the end she goes to the play with him and holds his hand does not mean he learned what Keating said.


His life is an act - to his father, to Keating, even to himself. Neil can`t deal wit the idea that to give up acting is to quit playing the roles that he lives everyday, and so he kills himself because he realizes that he has not lived up to that point. He is never honest about his passions to anyone. He even lies to Keating about his father giving him the permission to act because he knows that Keating would disapprove if he knows Neil father has not allowed it. In the end Neil realizes that it is his own life. Since his dad has control over him he is too afraid to stand up to him. But he feels he can not live according to his father`s wishes and the only way out is to kill himself.

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