Dead Poet's Society: Significant Experiences; The Twists of Life.


Significant experiences are moments in life that create change not only in
one's present period of life, but also dramatically alter one's view of the
surrounding and forthcoming events. The impacts of such experiences are the
opening of new doors in life, the realization of possibilities one would have
never imagined sitting right under one's nose and the perception of details one
never thought important before. They mostly temper peoples views of events,
shedding a different hue of light upon them, revealing multiple possibilities
that were once left in shadow. In Dead Poet's society, a handful of students
discover through the exuberance of their English teacher what kinds of lives
they had been leading, and what their lives could be. One student in particular,
Neil Perry, discovers a whole new world and his life is irreversibly changed as
a result of the impact of his association with Mr. Keating.
The lives of all the boys were drastically changed the day they met Mr.
Keating. "Carpe Diem" he told them. "Seize the day, make you lives
extraordinary." With these few words, Mr. Keating opened the minds of his
students to the broad possibilities that life held for them. The boys learned
that they deserved more than the daily routine, that they were not satisfied
with living up to the expectations of others. As a result, they re-established
the Dead Poet's society, and consequently experienced what they had been
protected from previously. The most significant change wrought from both the
arrival of Mr. Keating and the re-instatement of the Dead Poet's Society was
Neil Perry's change in attitude. He realized what his dreams were, and to
accomplish them, he had to do something he had never dared to do in the past,
disregard the will of his father. Having lived under the iron rule of an
oppressive father his entire life, Neil's spirit was in danger of smothering to
death. The Dead Poet's Society and Mr. Keating reawakened Neil's half-drowned
spirit and encouraged Neil to strive towards what he thought was important, not
what his father thought was important. Neil's life was drastically changed as a
result of his meeting Mr. Keating, from a life dedicated to school, to a life
dedicated to living. The impact of this association with Mr. Keating was that
Neil was a different person after, he attempted to break free of the conformity
that was suppressing him and his view on life became brighter and more hopeful.
For Neil, the significant experience of meeting Mr. Keating also changed
his outlook on the future. Instead of constantly studying and dreading
disciplinary action from his father, he began to look towards the good things in
life. He realized that his dream was to become an actor, and that acting gave
him happiness and hope that he had never had before. Acting was Neil's hope for
the future, it let him grow and experience life's true joys, joys that he could
not have even wished for in the past. The greatest impact that Mr. Keating had
on Neil was that he taught him to look past the wishes of others, to see what
was really wanted out of life. Neil had been living a life created by his
father, working towards goals set by his father, and growing up to be his father.
After meeting Mr. Keating, Neil broke free of the bonds his father had tied
around him and tore off the blinders that had restricted his view of his life.
He saw things from his own point of view, acted as he wanted, not as his father
expected him to. His reaction to and perception of events that occurred after
his significant experience were radically different than those of events
preceding his experience. The most important decision Neil made in the entire
movie, however, was the one to kill himself. This was a decision made by the
new Neil, the Neil with a mind and future of his own. The old Neil would have
grudgingly accepted his fate, and lived a frustrated and desperate life working
towards his father's goals. A direct result of his relationship with Mr.
Keating, Neil's suicide showed that he was in control of his life, that it was
in fact, his life and he wouldn't let anybody ruin it but himself.
Neil's suicide was both a shock and an inspiration to his peers. One of
their friends had just died, but he had died for something he believed in. Neil
was an inspiration not