Dead Poets Society Essay, Research Paper
There are many occasions in the film ‘Dead Poets Society’ where parallels can be drawn between Mr Keating and Jesus. An obvious parallel is Keating and Jesus both have saviour roles. Jesus Christ saviour of the world; John Keating saviour of the boys. Keating is an instructor of English and he employs unconventional teaching methods. Keating advocates that students should “seize the day” and think for themselves. This is best illustrated by his insistence that every student in his class should rip pages from the course textbook which prescribe a lifeless methodology for interpreting poetry. Through out the movie Keating sets an example to the boys just like Jesus did to his disciples.
The disciples application of his teachings is most visibly enacted by Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard), a young man being manipulated and overpowered by his father s obsession that his son go to medical school. Neil s true passion is not medicine, but the theater. When he auditions for A Mid Summer Night s Dream, he is awarded the main part but must keep his involvement in the play from his father, who forbids him to participate in the production. Unfortunately Neil’s dad finds out about Neil’s deceitful attempts to act and conflict starts to ster. Keating stands by Neil throughout the conflict with his father- matched by jesus standing by his disciples during the storm on the lake.
With the support of Mr Keating Neil’s resolution is to stick to drama and take the Keating model of approaching life’s challenges. This compares with the disciples experience in john 6:53 where jesus challenged them to eat his flesh and drink his blood meaning to accept his teachings and be willing to die his death.
After the play, Neil s father makes a surprise appearance, abruptly takes his son home, and declares “you will go to medical school and you will be a doctor.” Neil Perry commits suicide that evening and the institution decides that the way to avoid a tarnished image is to make Keating the sacrificial lamb. Mr Keatings post suicide experience was to go to class and reliving some of the classes he had shared with Neil. He opens Neil’s desk and takes out the dead poets society poetry anthology, while reading the poem he breaks down and cries. The comparison with Jesus’ experience after the death of one of his most loyal disciples is John the Baptist. Mark !4:13 records jesus going away by himself for a time to mourn for john.
Keating s disciples are questioned and pressured into signing a confession, all set into motion by a betraying Judas who tells the other students “save yourselves.” Keating s regeneration comes in the final scene, when the disciples engage in a demonstration, which affirms his impact on their lives.
Keating stands by Neil throughout the conflict with his father- matched by jesus standing by his disciples during the storm on the lake.