“Dead Poets Society” worth watching for lessons learned

by J1 reporter Maggie Morris

Image source: IMDb

A great movie for high school students to watch is “Dead Poets Society.” 

Set in the 1950s at a private boys boarding school, this drama focuses on the relatively typical life of a high school student with classes, extracurriculars, sports and homework. English teacher Mr. Keating, played by the late Robin Williams, takes a special interest in the lives of his students and teaches beyond what is required in the curriculum. All of his students seem to be really engaged in his class and enjoy having him as their teacher. 

Keating gives his students untraditional assignments, forces them to think outside-of-the-box, and even makes them tear pages out of a book in order to have their own thoughts and interpretations. His motto is carpe diem, or “seize the day.” This basically means taking advantage of opportunities and stepping outside of your comfort zone. This phrase is something that really made me think of my life and the ways that I make decisions. 

A group of Keating’s students become involved in The Dead Poets Society, a secret poetry club that he was previously involved in, and they form a deeper connection with and understanding of him and his teaching methods through this. 

Released in 1989, the lessons that this movie teaches are ones that still apply and benefit viewers today, more than 30 years later. Through watching this movie, viewers understand the importance of thinking for yourself, doing new things even though they scare you, and “going against the grain.” I know when I watched this movie I felt moved to take more control over my life and make my own decisions, not decisions based on others’ expectations. The whole time that I was watching it, I felt a connection to the students and was inspired by their motivation to live by the phrase “seize the day.” With a run time of 2 hours and 8 minutes, this is a movie that you will not want to turn away from. Available on Disney + and Amazon Prime Video, I highly recommend watching “Dead Poets Society.”

Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5 stars

Note: Although rated PG, there is some heavy material discussed. Viewer discretion advised. 

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