The Behaviour of the Students:
In both movies, we see a lot of how the students interact amongst themselves. In Dead Poets Society, we see the boys running around and being playful and friendly with one another. We also see them building a radio, having their “study sessions,” and, eventually, resurrect the Dead Poets club and attend the meetings that follow. The boys are friendly with each other overall, with little to no feuds in most of the movies duration. They also show more openness to Mr.Keating and what he has to teach the students. In contrast, throughout Mona Lisa Smile, we learn a lot less about what the girls might be interested in doing with their free time. We see them doing things for their husbands, attending parties to get closer with people they could potentially marry, and planning their futures of pretty well being house wives. We see a lot more arguing and clashing of opinions amongst them. Specifically between Betty, who is panning out to be the trademark of tradition, and Gisele, who is showing more rowdy and yet similar traits to the ideas of Watson. Also different in behaviour for Mona Lisa Smile, is how the girls are towards Ms.Watson. They show more interest in testing her ability to show them something new than to actually learn what she is teaching which then forces Watson into a new way of teaching her students. What makes the differences so significant in the plot is that they change the way we feel about the students in both films. When Mona Lisa Smile was released in 2003, our North American society had been rid of most of the ideas that a woman’s job was to get married, have children, and behave within all the proper ideals for a young w...
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...nes. To the audience it looks as though Watson has almost gone back in time. So many of the themes in the movie is this changing tides from what is tradition and into modernity. Dead Poets Society also brings up tradition but more of the way of the traditional teaching methods that has given Welton its high class name. Dead Poets Society focus on only boys does not show us this changing woman’s view at the same time. They use their poetic learnings to woo the girls they desire. In contrast with the two movies, having Mona Lisa Smile focused around all woman, the tone of the movie is set on changes in society and defying gender-based ‘rules.’ Having all boys in Dead Poets Society not only depicts a completely different side of the era, but makes the movie about expressing yourself and considering the world with your own view, not about changing your role in society.
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