Summary - Dead poets society referat

Summary – Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum

The novel “Dead Poets Society” written by N.H. Kleinbaum is set in 1959 in Vermont (USA) at a preparatory school called Welton Academy, which is only for boys.

At the welcoming ceremony for new students, Mr Nowlan is introduced and explains the principals of the academy, which are tradition, excellence, discipline and honour. Mr John Keating, the new English teacher, who has been a pupil there either, is introduced, too. He is a teacher, who has his own conception of teaching. He is inspired by values like passion, imagination, beauty, language and love which he integrates in his classes. His slogan is CARPE DIEM, which means “seize the day”, therefore he wants his pupils to think on their own and become individual persons. Some boys re-found the “Dead Poets Society”. This is a secret club, where the boys meet themselves in a cave to read and write poems to express their emotions. Because of these meetings, the boys lives changes. Charlie Dalton plays pranks at school and gives himself the new name “Nuwanda”; Todd Anderson overcomes his shyness; Knox Overstreet falls in love with a girl by writing poems for her; Neil Perry finds his profession in acting, and becomes main character in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, which is against the conceptions of his father. So he brings Neil home and wants him to go to a military school and therefore Neil commits suicide. Mr Keating is held responsible for the suicide by Neil’ s parents and the school administration, because they think he should have floated him into the suicide. By suppressing most pupils to sign that Mr Keating is blamed, he gets dismissed. Shortly before Mr Keating will leave school to take his last items, the pupils step on their desks, despite the director’ s orders to sit, and shout: “Oh captain! My captain!” to pay Mr Keating his last tribute, which he has taught them in their first lesson. 

The Author’ s Intention

In my opinion the main protagonist is Mr Keating. He teaches the boys going through life on their own, without the help of others, like teachers. “Seize the day” is the main statement, and the most important either. The boys shall come out of themselves and shall risk things, they would have never done before. They shall not be shy and afraid of things they do not know. Keating teaches them to change their lives to test how good life can be, but they are controlled by other teachers and parents. They should choose what they really want.

The conflict is between Keating and the education of Welton Academy. Keating wants the boys to live free and not bounding to any person. Welton Academy wants the boys to live strict and have good grades and work hard to go to Ive Legue to have a good life afterwards, but living free and being strict educated cannot be compared, this means that they cannot make their own experiences, because the are under the pressure of parents and teachers and if you want to be free, you cannot be strict, you have to risk things, but this would be against the conception of Welton Academy. Therefore Mr Keating was dismissed, he was not teaching according to the rules Welton Academy has.

I liked reading the book very much. It was exciting how a teacher can change persons and it was interesting how a teacher can arrange lessons, either. It is very sad to read how hard education can become, living under a hard pressure of parents and teachers and how broken you can become, because you cannot go through life, like you want.

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