Dead Poets Society Hysterical Text
One person’s interpretation of a story is always different than another’s. Some of us may see things that are not being shown to us. Dead Poets Society, in author Tania Modleski’s eyes has taken on a manifestation larger than the author herself. This story is not what the author will have you believe, whereas the true story was hidden in the misconception of Modleski’s beliefs. The sexual content, homoerotic tensions, and antiauthoritarian behavior, seemed to come from the author’s wishful thinking as opposed to the reality of the film.
In the film a homosexual theme could not be seen. When Mr. Keating came to the school to teach, he did not insist on being called oh captain my captain. That phrase was used only three times in the movie, once by Mr. Keating himself. Oh captain my captain was used by two separate young men as a show of admiration and respect for Mr. Keating. In contrast Modleski sees oh captain my captain as a “pious deference to male authority”(Modleski “ Dead White Male Heterosexual Poets Society” 315) because the very authority the film pretends to be challenging.
One character that just enrolled at the school and was somewhat of a loner, and misfit, and is expected to achieve great success as his brother did before him. He is an example of how some families push one child to be exactly like another i.e. his older brother. When he first comes in contact with Mr. Keating he could not speak openly in front of a crowd. This is evident when he decides not to write a poem that is to be read in front of the class the following day. When Mr. Keating calls upon him to read and he cannot, he uses the technique of spinning him around while spewing...
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...land. Mr. Keating probably was dismissed from the school in England for his freethinking ways. He may travel from school to school spreading the Dead poets Society way of free expression. This is illustrated when a boy returns to his room, and finds Mr. Keating’s book of poetry lying on his desk.
When Modleski critiqued this movie, with good intentions in mind, somehow she lost her way. There are two sides to every story and these boys and Mr. Keating’s has been told. The illustrations, and aforementioned reasons, show that Dead poets society is a hysterical text. We may never know the real meaning behind this movie, but we all have our interpretations of it. There are no hidden or reclusive meanings being portrayed here, just a boarding school that suppresses freedom of thought, and creativity. This is why Mr. Keating’s character comes through loud and clear.
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