Dead poets society essay todd anderson


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Painfully shy Todd Anderson has been sent to the school where his popular older brother was valedictorian. His roommate, Neil Perry, although exceedingly bright and popular, is very much under the thumb of his overbearing father. The two, along with their other friends, meet Professor Keating, their new English teacher, who tells them of the Dead Poets Society, and encourages them to go against the status quo.

Character Analysis

Each does so in his own way, and is changed for life. A new English teacher, John Keating, is introduced to an all-boys preparatory school that is known for its ancient traditions and high standards. He uses unorthodox methods to reach out to his students, who face enormous pressures from their parents and the school. With Keating's help, students Neil Perry, Todd Anderson and others learn to break out of their shells, pursue their dreams and seize the day. Perry rudely tells Keating to "stay away from [his] son.

Tom Schulman – Dead Poets Society (Entire Script) | Genius

Perry, as if speaking on behalf of Mrs. Perry who looks on in apparent despair as well as in his own right, tells Neil in no uncertain terms that he is to go to military school immediately and then to Harvard where he is to study medicine.

Perry completely disregards his son's wishes and browbeats the latter to the point where Neil simply gives up even to try to get his father to let him be what he wants to be. During the quiet of the cold winter night, in front of an open window, Neil seems to enact a strange ritual with what appears to be a crown of thorns on his head a stage prop left over from his role as Puck, but also reminiscent of the crucifixion , while he exposes his naked body to the elements.

He then quietly walks down to a study where, pulling a handgun from what is apparently his father's desk, he shoots himself dead. The sound of the gunshot awakens Mr. Perry who immediately goes searching for his son by walking from room to room in the house, followed by Mrs. When he stumbles upon the body, he cries out repeatedly, "Oh, Neil! Oh, My God! Oh, my son! My son! My poor son! The context of his words Neil "wouldn't have left us. His father killed him" seems to imply that Mr. Perry had, in fact, literally killed his own son.

The Role of Todd Anderson in Dead Poets Society, a Movie Directed by Peter Weir

In a way, of course, it is clear to us all that he is, above all, the most responsible for Neil's death, for it is clear that Neil felt totally "trapped" a word he actually uses when talking to Keating about his father wanting him to quit the play , that he felt that his father was simply forcing him, against his will and against all of his heart's desires, to go to military and then to medical school. Yet now, in spite of what we as audience know, the film takes a turn for a perhaps predictable but ultimately unjustifiable assignment of blame.

Nolan announces that he "intend[s] to conduct a thorough inquiry into this matter," we may already guess that Mr. Keating will emerge as the villain in the eyes of official justice and established morality. Cameron is, of course, the first to "fink.

Forrest Gump

Think about it. The board of directors, the trustees, Mr.


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  7. Do you think for one moment they're gonna let this thing just blow over? Schools go down because of things like this. They need a scapegoat. Cameron has the unmitigated audacity to speak of the school's "honor code" when he admits that he has, in fact, "finked. We are the victims. Us and Neil. Keating, of course. The 'Captain' himself. I mean, you guys didn't really think he could avoid responsibility, did you?

    Keating is to be blamed for Neil's suicide, Cameron continues: Well, who else do you think, dumb-ass? The administration?

    Dead Poets Society

    Keating put us up to all this crap, didn't he? If it wasn't for Mr. Keating, Neil would be cozied up in his room right now, studying his chemistry and dreaming of being called a doctor. This misleading and illogical explanation, the falseness of which Todd, for example, vehemently objects to "That is not true, Cameron. You know that. He didn't put us up to anything. Neil loved acting" will nonetheless become the official explanation as well. In the scene in which Todd, for example, is "interrogated" in the presence of his parents by Mr.

    Nolan, and then made to sign a "document" the scene is reminiscent of phony confessions that prisoners, after having been tortured, were forced to sign in the former Soviet Union, for example , Mr. Nolan says: I have here a detailed description of what occurred at your meetings. It describes how your teacher, Mr. Keating, encouraged you boys to organize this club and to use it as a source of inspiration for reckless and self-indulgent behavior.

    It describes how Mr. Keating, both in and out of the classroom, encouraged Neil Perry to follow his obsession with acting when he knew all along it was against the explicit order of Neil's parents. It was Mr. Keating's blatant abuse of his position as teacher that led directly to Neil Perry's death. Needless to say, this highly distorted version becomes, as I have said before, the official view of what has led to Neil's suicide. The upshot of the whole affair is that in the end things are back to normal at Welton Academy. Keating, who has obviously been dismissed, comes for his "personals," Mr.

    Nolan is in charge of his class. And the students are asked to start all over again by reading what Mr.

    directed by Peter Weir

    Nolan calls the "excellent essay by Dr. Pritchard on 'Understanding Poetry. Nolan's own copy. As Mr. Keating is about to leave the classroom, Todd exclaims that "they made everybody sign" the document leading to Keating's dismissal. When Todd jumps up on his desk to the exclamation of "O Captain! My Captain! Nolan is not going to be able to maintain control of the class.