Dead Poet’s Society is of the eternal conflict between conformity and non-conformity. The movie tells the tale of an authoritarian school with a strict regime of regulations. In comes a professor, Mr. John Keating who redefines the spirit in the students. He was ultimately decided responsible for Neil’s death . The students have a new arts teacher, the principal himself, who is taken aback with the kind of learning methods adopted by Professor Keating. When he asks the students how much course has been covered in the section on Realists, he is told that portion was skipped and the Romantics was done instead. When he asks them to recite the page on how to write poems, he discovers that page has been torn from every book. Finally he gives the letter to Todd to sign it, but Todd refuses to give in to the pressure and stands up on his table reciting one of the lines from the play they did, something they used to do in Professor Keating’s sessions, soon to be joined by their entire Dead Poet’s Society gang. Professor Keating who happens to pass by the class to take his belongings back from the classroom is content seeing that, and he says, “Thank you boys” and leaves the place leaving behind some proud students and a hapless principal furious with frustration, but pitiably helpless. There is a thin line between being a non-conformist and a rebel. There is no end to how dissatisfied and disillusioned you can get living in such a place, but the only escape is the belief and conviction that you will never give up. It is true that a revolution is started by a single individual but that, not always might be the case. A million times, a million revolutions are started but they never see the light of the day, they just die a slow, unnoticed death in the hoi polloi of proletarian obscurity. I imagine I never might truly understand what is the right path, for being a rebel with a cause does not pay much now, what keeps you alive is the sense of self-respect that here was an individual who refused to give in. But does that make any difference to the world; the way people wake up every morning from the surreal but attainable dreams to the killing monotony and conformity, only to discover the next sleep that those dreams are all gone. It takes a small step to join a revolution that was initiated by someone but it takes a giant leap for the person who starts that, which goes into the dungeons if no one gathers even that much courage to join in his noble crusade. As I said, there is no end to how long we can go discussing these issues, for these are not issues that we are unaware of or indifferent to. These are all things every single one of us has been through one or the other stage of our lives. It is just that we fail to acknowledge the effect it has on our lives. It is just that we would rather choose to live with our eyes closed than die with a hope to live.

10 December 2004 5:36 pm

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