The movie Dead Poet’s Society has a transcendentalism theme which compares to many literature pieces we have read so far. Many ideas and thoughts from Dead Poet’s Society were expressed in literature from poets like Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman. The movie Dead Poet’s Society starts at a conformists school where kids are taught and learn conformist ways of learning. The school says that 75% went to Ivy League schools and headmaster says “You have to conform to become successful.
The kids all stand up at the same time, and in synchronization, they repeat the school’s code which is “Discipline, tradition, excellence, and honor. Then they all sit at the same time as well. This example is the machine that is in play like how Thoreau has mentioned in poems. Thoreau has said, That government is best which governs least. The headmaster is the machine making kids follow conformity. Which is transcendentalism?
Neil Perry, the main character of the story, was a leader and straight A student who was told by his dad he would become a doctor in the medical field.
Neil signed up for a class for taking yearbook pictures, and once his dad found out he immediately told him to drop the class, and Neil tried disputing with him, and his dad said “How dare you!” he brings in Neil’s mother as manipulation and Neil quickly agree to drop the class. This is also an example of a machine which would be Neil’s dad trying to make him conform but also another example of transcendentalism would be Neil being civilly disobedient by trying to fight and take that class.
In the movie, the character Knox who is also a great example of civil disobedience he tried pursuing the girl he liked who was from a public high school and had a boyfriend. He got invited to a party, and he kissed her on the forehead there and got beat up by the boyfriend this is his mind free thinking which is an example of transcendentalism.