Carpe Diem In The Dead Poets Society
Nov 12, 2015802Words
Charles Richards once said, “Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.” The theme of Carpe Diem prevails in the movie The Dead Poets Society. The idea of Carpe Diem is to live life to the fullest and not regretting not doing something, but someone who does take part in Carpe Diem must take responsibility for their actions. The concept is first introduced to the viewers by Mr. Keating when he has the characters tear out the introduction of their poetry books. Keating believed that the boys need to make decisions on their own and should not have to rely on others to make the decision for them. He encourages the students to take the concept of Carpe Diem and incorporate it in their lives. The characters of Todd Anderson, Neil Perry, and Charlie Daulton all go through the process of figuring out how they can use Carpe Diem to live their lives to the fullest.
When Todd Anderson is first introduced in the film, he seems like the shy, good boy. That is because of what is expect of his with being the brother of Jeffrey Anderson, who was one of Welton’s finest. His parents expected him to be exactly as his brother was and only did not really have a relationship with him. When Mr. Keating brought up Carpe Diem Todd shies away from the idea because he is struggling to express who he is because he does not know. Throughout the film though Todd learns to embrace and find himself through the idea of Carpe Diem, which is shown when he is the first one to stand up at the end of the movie. Todd stood up for himself because he was sick of the standards that were being set for him, and he was also standing up for Mr. Keating, who was leaving because he supposedly influenced Neil’s death.
Neil Perry is portrayed as the confident, leader of the group when in reality Neil has a lot of problems with his parents. When Mr. Keating refers to the concept of Carpe Diem Neil is intrigued because it is telling him, that he can do what he wants, and should not have to worry about what his father would say. Neil put Carpe Diem in his life when he goes to try out for the play. When he gets the part does not tell his father because Neil knows that he would say no. Neil does not use Carpe Diem the right way, though, instead of standing up to his father and taking the consequences that can from disobeying him, Neil killed himself. His decision was rash, and way somewhat rebel against his father.
Charlie Daulton liked to show resistance even before the concept of Carpe Diem was introduced to him. His rebellion became even more prevalent when Carpe Diem was introduced. When the group of guys started meeting and Charlie brought the two girls to the cave, and published an article about it, is when he wanted to be called Niewanda. Headmaster Nolan questions the whole school about who published the article, at this point a phone rang and Charlie stood up answered it. He said something along the lines of it’s a phone call from God saying that girls should be allowed at Welton. He ended up in Nolan’s office and getting hit multiple times for his little stunt. When he goes back to his room, his friends ask him what he said to Nolan and if he had given him names of those in the Dead Poets Society. His reply was, “Call me Niewanda” meaning that he was not going to give out their names. Charlie is a perfect example of someone who uses Carpe Diem correctly, he not only lives his life the way he wants, but he takes responsibility for his actions.
Throughout the film, the concept of Carpe Diem is spoke about a lot and influences the lives of many, but specifically Todd Anderson, Neil Perry, and Charlie Daulton. Todd Anderson learned his true identity, and how to live a full life without letting others push him around. Neil Perry, unfortunately, did not fully understand the concept of Carpe Diem; he only understood living life to the fullest, not the part of taking responsibility for the consequences that may follow from his actions. Charlie Daulton was a perfect example of how Carpe Diem is supposed to be carried out, even when he got in trouble for living the way he wanted, he took the consequences and went on with life. Carpe Diem if used correctly can help benefit a person, and push them in the direction they want to go, but if carried out incorrectly it can result in terrible things.