Style Of Teaching In Walt Whitman's O Captain My Captain

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While Keating and Hector offer their pupils a different style of teaching to the institution in which they are, it is clear that Walt Whitman's “O Captain! My Captain!’’ can really only be applied to Keating's leadership style. Through a selection of frames (1,3,5,12,13,17) and cinematic techniques, I intend to show how words of Walt Whitman's poem “O Captain! My Captain’’ can be applied to Keating. In addition I will explore Hector's relationship with his pupils through frames (19,22,23) to illustrate that he is less successful as a leader and not a captain at all Mr. Keating’s leadership style is supportive because he shows concern for his students well being and needs. He is charismatic and helps in inspiring some emotion and passion in his classroom which is a change from the traditional and still atmosphere of Welton Academy. He 'leads' them through the rough years of High School, all the while encouraging them to try new things and live their lives as they wish, rather than as society demands. The boys in the movie begin to refer to Keating as "My Captain" just as Whitman refers to Abraham Lincoln Mr. Keating is very successful as a leader for many reasons. He has a different style of teaching and encourages his students to be free-thinkers and shows them a new way to look at life. "Carpe Diem" is the main theme throughout the movie and is a very positive message for his students. He pushes for diversity and change making sure that his class is different and one to which the students look forward.Keating also has many traits of a leader such as intelligence, sense of humor, enthusiasm and insightfulness. His true characteristic that really stands out is his charisma. When the students begin standing up on their desks in fro... ... middle of paper ... ...ul a leader and an inferior captain to Keating, who is seen, lifted up and carried by his students Hector reveals towards the end of the film that he never meant to be a teacher, but only intended to do it for a short time. The different boys over the years have worn him out, and he has lost the drive he initially had. The boys never show true loyalty to Hector in The History Boys as the boys from Dead Poets Society show to Keating by standing on their desks and calling him their captain. Therefore it is clear that the words of Walt Whitman's " O Captain! My Captain! " can only really apply to Keating of Dead Poets Society. While Hector also has an innovative teaching style, he does not earn the respect and loyal following associated with a captain, and a man like Keating. Both directors make use of cinematic techniques to convey the difference in their films.

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