Check out my Dead Poets Society book summary and review that I created to help you understand the basics of this great book. The Dead Poets Society is an American drama film directed by Peter Weir that premiered on June 2, 1989. The film debuted in Germany on January 25, 1990. Nancy H. Kleinbaum used Tom Schulman's screenplay as the basis for the 1989 film novel.

Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society book summary :

Todd Anderson arrives at the traditional Welton Academy, a conservative boarding school for boys in the US state of Vermont, at the beginning of the 1959 school year. Shy, withdrawn, Todd has little self-confidence and is overshadowed by his older brother, who was one of the school's top graduates.

Also new to the school is English teacher John Keating, himself a former Welton student. His teaching amazes the students from the very first lesson. Using unconventional methods, the teacher encourages them to act independently and think freely. Since promoting the individuality of his students is very important to him, he always encourages them to have more confidence and to explore their possibilities.

Keating teaches his students about the world of literature and the finer things in life; they should understand poetry and discover it in themselves instead of just repeating what they have learned by heart. This includes writing and reciting your own poems. Keating repeatedly refers to the poets Whitman, Thoreau and Frost.

In an old school yearbook, the students come across photos of Keating and learn that he was a member of the so-called "Dead Poets Society" when he was a student. When asked about it at the next opportunity, Keating explains what the club was about: They met secretly in a cave in the forest to appreciate passionate poetry.

 Led by particularly enthusiastic student Neil Perry, a group of friends including newcomer Todd, Knox Overstreet, Richard Cameron, Stephen Meeks, Gerard Pitts and Charlie Dalton decide to start the club again. They sneak off the premises at night, meet in said cave, recite poetry to each other and enjoy fellowship beyond the narrow walls and rigid rules of the school.

At the opening of each "session" of the club, as in Keating's day, an excerpt from Thoreau's Walden is traditionally recited by all members as a ritual. With Keating's encouragement to take life into his own hands, high school student Neil Perry discovers a passion for acting, but defies his father, who has already laid plans for Neil's life.

In a local production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Neil gets the role of Puck and plays it to great acclaim. But immediately after the performance, his father drags him home and announces that he will be taken out of school the next day and sent to a military academy. When Neil realizes that he will not be listened to and that he has to fulfill his father's wishes, including choosing a career, he takes his own life that night.

Looking for someone to blame, Neil's father and the school board blame Keating's teaching content and methods. In order to save their own skins, the members of the "Dead Poets Society" are coerced into signing a pre-packaged statement of untrue allegations blaming Keating for sole responsibility, leading to his subsequent suspension.

As Keating retrieves some personal belongings from his classroom, Todd Anderson climbs onto his desk and, in front of the entire class, pays his respects to the outgoing teacher to whom he owes so much by saying, Keating's preferred farewell, "O Captain! My Captain!” calls after him.

When Keating then turns around again, other classmates gradually follow Todd's example until finally half the class is standing on the desks while the headmaster angrily runs through the rows and loudly, but in vain, asks the students to sit down. Touched, Keating thanks the boys and leaves.

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