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Group 2 Cheung, Yaniza Lam, Patrick Lee, Manfred Lee, Michelle Lee, Paul Yam, Chris.

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Presentation on theme: "Group 2 Cheung, Yaniza Lam, Patrick Lee, Manfred Lee, Michelle Lee, Paul Yam, Chris."— Presentation transcript:

1 Group 2 Cheung, Yaniza Lam, Patrick Lee, Manfred Lee, Michelle Lee, Paul Yam, Chris

2 1. Summary of “Dead Poets Society” 2. Character Analysis and the Philosophical Stances 3. More on Metaphysics and Aesthetic 4. Hong Kong Context? 5. Conclusion


4 Time: Late 80s School: Welton Academy Prep School Motto of the school: “Tradition, Honour, Discipline and Excellence.” Protagonist: Mr. Keating (A teacher teaching poetry and literature), Neil (A gifted boy under heavy parental control to study Medicine in college)

5 Welton: A traditional high school which parents send their child there for the preparation of entering the best college in the town. The new English teacher, Mr. Keating, who practice unorthodox pedagogy (in the eyes of Welton) to teach poetry and literature. He introduced the idea of “Carpe Diem” from 1812 Overture to a senior class. “Carpe Diem, seize the day, boys, make your lives extraordinary” – quotation from Mr. Keating.


7 Mr. Keating asks the students to rip off the section “Introduction to Poetry” in the book as that book prescribing literature in mathematical equations. (ridiculous) He also asks the student to stand up on the table: to see the world from different perspectives.

8 Inspired by Mr. Keating, a group of boys has organized an underground literary club, Dead Poems Society. They meet each other in a cave under the school grounds, they read out poems, sing, and play musical instruments there.

9 Because of “Carpe Diem” and the “Dead Poets Society”. Neil takes the courage to participate in a drama “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, without the consent of his father. His father is so furious after knowing Neil has took part in the drama. He intends to enroll Neil to a military school to prepare him for Harvard University.

10 Because of unable to cope with the future, and make his father understands his feeling, Neil commits suicide. The headmaster of the school launches an investigation by the request of Neil’s parents. The headmaster forces the members of the society to sign a document blaming Mr. Keating abuses his authority, encourages the student to start the club, as well as teaches Neil to go against his parents. They all signed.

11 Keating is being fired after all the boys have signed on the document. Before he leaves, the student taught by Mr. Keating use a special way to farewell their teacher.


13 John Keating teacher the boys' source of inspiration and encouragement. makes poetry "drip from [their] tongues like honey," using it as a medium to encourage his charges to strive for excellence and individuality. introduces his students the phrase, 'Carpe diem', a Latin expression that translates as 'Seize the day'.Carpe diem His teaching methodology is highly uncoventional and conflicts with Welton's four pillars: "Tradition, Honour, Discipline, Excellence". dismissed from his position at the end of the film, charged with causing Neil Perry to commit suicide.

14 Neil Perry a confident and popular student who excels in his studies. well-liked by both his peers and teachers and is a natural leader. Inspired by his passionate English teacher, Mr Keating, he reestablishes the 'Dead Poets Society'. This shows that he is prepared to challenge the school's authority. Neil's aspirations to become an actor are snuffed by his controlling father who refuses to give Neil any choice about his future. As a result, he commits suicide at the end of the film.

15 Mr Perry Neil's paternalistic and dominating father. He is determined that Neil will finish school at Welton and study medicine. To this end, he ensures that Neil is focussed and not distracted by unnecessary extra-curricular activities such as the school magazine. Mr Perry's refusal to support Neil's acting aspirations ultimately lead to Neil's death.

16 Charlie Dalton Rebellious, recalcitrant and reckless, attention-seeking the most extraverted and daring of Welton's students. He resists the authority of the school and is ultimately expelled for refusing to sign the document condemning Mr Keating. Though he admires and respects Mr Keating, he takes Keating's principles too far and takes several imprudent risks.

17 Richard Cameron conforms totally with both the school's and his parents' expectations. to succeed academically and win the favour of his teachers, he is very compliant and is prepared to betray his friends in order to further his own interests. Cameron is responsible for the dismissal of Mr Keating as he selfishly accuses Keating of encouraging Neil to commit suicide

18 Mr. Nolan Stagnant old man Demanded in total control 4 traditional discipline prepare students for college Never think of the students themselves but spoon feed them the norm of the society




22 Idea + ideal Pursuit of ideal  perfection / goals Though may not attain perfection, they can attain much when follow a noble standard of life. Knowledge – subjective ; latently appear Act according to introspection & intuition, but not norms  E.g. Plato – reminiscence Idealistic teacher: serves the role for facilitating the spiritual and intellectual development of students

23 Mr. Keating? takes them out of the classroom to focus on the idea of carpe diem.carpe diem he instructs his pupils to rip the introduction out of their books later he has the students stand on his desk in order to look at the world in a different way.

24 Charlie Dalton? Inspired by Keating, the boys secretly revive a school literary club, the titular "Dead Poets Society," to which Keating had belonged, meeting in a cave in the school grounds. publishes an unauthorized article in the school newspaper, asserting that girls should be admitted to Welton.

25 Objective knowledge  Reality  sensation + adaptation Practical understanding & acceptance (Deductive) Conform to social conventions  better prepared for students’ future Purpose of education under realism  cultivate and develop the power of reasoning and making choices  nothing should be in the way of the fulfillment of school’s primary role. (no challenge allowed)

26 Mr. Nolan? Reminded the students the highest standard of the institution Tradition, Honor, Discipline, and Excellence Rejected the teaching method of Mr. Keating and further reinforced the four standards Insisted on conservatism which acted as an against to individualism

27 Cameron? reluctant to tear out the pages from the textbook at Keating's request really worried about what the administration is likely to do about this mischievous breach of conduct. first to fink

28 Down-to-earth approach  emphasize practical application of ideas by testing them in human experience (interaction with the environment) for problem solving Disregard any “impractical”  make sense of the indeterminate & ever-changing world Purpose of education under growth  growth  developing intelligence  School would not promote anything harmful to students (whatever harmful means)

29 Mr. Perry? Intends to send his son to military school to prepare him for Harvard University and a career in medicine. a stern person who believes what he says is exactly what will happen


31 What is life for ?_? What is the right thing to do ?_? How to deal with a struggle ?_?





36 What is art? How do we recognize it? How do we judge it? How do we look at a poem? (different ways) Freedom = Fancy? Or Crazy? Rules, norms  restrictions?





41 Autonomous and Self-enclosing Acoustic and Visual l(a le af fa ll s ) one l iness

42 “A leaf falls loneliness” “l(a leaf falls)oneliness.” By e.e. cummings (1894 – 1962) l(a le af fa ll s ) one l iness



45 Low birth rate; the only child in the family. -> Putting all the attention to the child. Parents are called “Watchdog Parents” as they exert control on every move of their child. Strong protection on their child, helping them to make every decision in their lives.. = Neil’s Parents Influence from the Asia-Pacific education culture + situating in a Knowledge-Based society = Strong Pressure on their child to achieve excellent results. = School Motto of Welton Getting As in public examinations = GOOD STUDENTS.



48 Common Practice in Hong Kong: Striving for the best in the academic fields, equip students as many skills as possible. Neglecting the every students has his/her own strengths and dreams. Most of the students in HK are the shadow of their parents, we are just acting in the way our parents want us to be. But, there’s no doubt that our parents are doing for our own goods. Mr. Keating is a teacher who brings out the ideas of “walking in our own pace”, and “dangerous of conforming ourselves into the society norms”. But, are you sure that we are going in the right direction? Or Are we putting our lives at risk?

49 Go for our dreams? Be practical?

50 It’s never appropriate to go too extreme on the neither side. Parents and teachers should reassess the purpose of education: to develop every individual into their full potential, intellectually and morally. Always strive our balance between achieving good academic result and giving freedom to their choice. Major premise: balancing between study and interest (compromise can be made.) Nurturing our next generation with freedom, bringing a less pressurized society for them.


52 Horton & Hanes (1993), “ These views are best expressed by taking an eclectic or integrated approach, drawing from Naturalism, Pragmatism, Existentialism and Phenomenology. Briefly, Naturalism advocates individual development, by not imposing social conformity, and encourages close contact with nature. From the Pragmatist school of thought comes the idea that knowledge can be created through reconstruction of experiences... The belief held here is that the world is alienating and the way to deal with existence is to take responsibility for one ’ s life... ”

53 Horton & Hanes (1993), “ The goal should be to help the individual realize choice is a key element in developing a life of personal growth. Lifelong learning is also a possibility when choices are realizes. To see alternatives, understanding must be gained in regard to self and others. The more information an individual possesses, the greater the number of choices possible. ”

54 Mr Nolan: Curriculum = canon Education: prepare students for college Mr Keating: Curriculum = The entire world + critical thinking Education: cultivates thinking

55 New Senior Secondary (NSS) Curriculum Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Liberal Studies Language Arts for English

56 Why LS/ Language Arts Direction/ Philosophy Practicality Major obstacles View from the public/ parents


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