One of the major themes/ideas explored in the Dead Poets Society is that of freedom versus conformance.
The subject of conformance is introduced in the really opening scenes of the movie. Close-ups of the male childs intoning in unison. all identically clad in their starched uniforms at a ceremonial at Welton Academy. we see that they are conforming to the authorization of the school.
It is the new instructor Mr Keating who. through his irregular methods. encourages the male childs to dispute this authorization. and break free from the traditional. conservative ways of thought that have been drilled into them at Welton Academy. He wants them to understand that there is more to life than obeying the orders of others. and in this manner the movie trades with Weir’s common subject – besides explored in Witness and Gallipoli – the pursuit for personal freedom. and the oppressing effects of society’s establishments. He inspires them to “Maintain ideas and beliefs in the face of conformance. ” Keating wants them to go “free-thinkers” . but he is in a manner beliing himself as he forces his ain beliefs and doctrine onto the waxy pupils instead than allowing them think for themselves.
This subject of conformance is paralleled on a personal degree in Neil’s relationship with his male parent. Mr. Perry wants the best possible hereafter for his boy. and hence has about impossible outlooks of him. Neil. on the other manus. while ever obedient to his father’s wants. wants to cognize more about himself. Acting was something that Neil discovered he was non merely good at and enjoyed. but was besides in a sense an flight from his present world as it allowed him to feign to be person else for a piece.
Mr Keating’s “carpe diem” ( “seize the day” ) attitude inspired Neil to disobey his father’s wants by in secret starring in the school drama. Neil’s challenging of his father’s authorization had annihilating effects. as after a peculiarly fierce confrontation with him. eventually Neil came to believe that the lone manner to obtain freedom was to take his ain life. This concluding act of non-conformity was non something Mr. Keating would hold advocated. but was Neil’s ultimate and despairing rebelliousness towards his male parent. and a tragic look of his independency.