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Ability Overall Story Problem: Expectation Overall Story Solution: Determination Overall Story Symptom: Trust Overall Story Response: Test Overall Story Catalyst: Thought Overall Story Inhibitor: Wisdom Overall Story Benchmark: Conceiving Overall Story Signpost 1: Conceiving Overall Story Signpost 2: Conceptualizing Overall Story Signpost 3: Becoming Overall Story Signpost 4: Being Main Character Throughline: Mind Main Character Concern: Preconscious Main Character Issue: Worth vs.Value Main Character Problem: Expectation Main Character Solution: Determination Main Character Symptom: Ending Main Character Response: Unending Main Character Unique Ability: Worth Main Character Critical Flaw: Fact Main Character Benchmark: Conscious Main Character Signpost 1: Subconscious Main Character Signpost 2: Memory Main Character Signpost 3: Preconscious Main Character Signpost 4: Conscious Influence Character Throughline: Universe Influence Character Concern: Progress Influence Character Issue: Fact vs.
Fixating primarily on the film’s passionate and rebellious English teacher, John Keating (Robin Williams), Dettmar deems the character’s pedagogy “anti-intellectual,” “the literary equivalent of fandom,” “completely wrong,” and ultimately confining as it “allows students very little opportunity for original thought.”Dettmar provides examples from the film to support his argument.
First, Keating misinterprets and, thus, incorrectly conveys to his students the message of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” Second, Keating’s exercise of having the boys stand atop his desk to see the world differently only shows them view, not their own original one.
Neil responds with, "oh, so you're THAT Anderson," suggesting again that Todd's brother was a memorable student during his time at the academy.
Todd continues on to his and Neil's dorm room, where he walks in on Richard Cameron calling him a "stiff".
Third, when confronted by the headmaster about his unorthodox teaching style, Keating retorts, “I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.” But, Dettmar points out, the film offers “no evidence that he’s done this for [his students].”I understand Dettmar’s critique of the screenwriter’s (and thus Keating’s) misreading of Frost’s poem.
Also, I side with the author’s concern over the current state of humanities in higher education (i.e., the number of students majoring in the humanities are declining while those majoring in science, technology, engineering, math are on the rise).He shows ample evidence of performance anxiety, something that interests his English teacher Mr.Keating and is a main area of development for the character.Neil again invites Todd to his friend's study group, but Todd politely declines, opting to do history homework instead.Later that night, Todd writes the phrase "Carpe Diem" on a sheet of notebook paper and stares at it for a moment before ripping out the paper and crumpling it up.After the climax, when Keating's job security is in danger, Todd stands up for him against Cameron, saying "..know that, Cameron. Neil was one of two primary components of Todd's intense personality change; the other being John Keating.There is some controversy over whether or not Todd and Neil were in a romantic relationship at some point during the events of the film.When Neil asks if Todd will join them in reconvening the Dead Poets Society, Todd reluctantly agrees on the grounds that he won't have to speak at the meetings.Todd attends the first meeting of the Dead Poets Society, where he takes minutes but does not contribute to reading poetry.Neil then introduces Todd to Charlie Dalton, Stephen Meeks, and Knox Overstreet, three of his friends who also comment on Todd's brother Jeffery's reputation at Welton, noting that he was valedictorian and a National merit scholar.Todd then witnesses the four of them light up a cigarette and mock the school right before Neil's father interrupts and calls Neil outside.