Transcendentalism In Dead Poets Society, Directed By Henry David Thoreau

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Transcendentalism was a movement that started in the 1830-40s which valued concepts such as the ideas of carpe diem, non-conformity, and finding one's own beliefs. The idea of transcendentalism is present throughout the movie Dead Poets Society, directed by Peter Weir, and in the essay "Walden," written by Henry David Thoreau. In Dead Poets Society, the idea of transcendentalism is demonstrated through a group of teenage boys going to an all-boys school, being taught by an eccentric English teacher. The same concepts are also shown in the piece, "Walden," this essay is a series of journal entries written during a two-year stay in the woods near a pond. Both pieces of work exemplify the necessity of enjoying life and living it to the fullest through the transcendentalist elements of carpe diem and non-conformity.

In order to live life and enjoy it to the fullest, one must seize the day, more commonly known as carpe diem. During the film Dead Poets Society, Mr. John Keating, the English teacher at Welton Academy, teaches his students the idea of carpe diem, meaning he wants them to go out and make their own choices and make the most of what they've been given. One student, Neil Perry, decides to demonstrate this idea by trying out for a local play. He knows that his parent will not approve but despite that, he tries out anyway because it is something that he wants to do. Towards the beginning of the movie, Neil listens to his father when he is told that he must quit being

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