Dead Poets Society Character Analysis

1067 words 5 pages
In the film, Dead Poets Society, students at Welton Academy (who are accustomed to strict discipline) are suddenly experiencing change when a new teacher, John Keating(a former student and a member of the Dead Poets Society), arrives to teach them English with unorthodox methods, opening up a new world for the students. The students all react differently to Keating: some resist while others do not change at all. Charlie Dalton (a rebellious and rich boy) becomes even further rebellious and gets himself expelled; Todd Anderson transforms and finds his own “voice” and Richard Cameron, a true pragmatist, remains unchanged. In the end, every boy’s true colours are revealed.
John Keating
John Keating, a.k.a. Mr Keating, is a romantic teacher
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Later, in class, after being asked to write a poem, Todd tells Keating he never completed the assignment after he spent many hours writing and revising his poem only to have thrown it away before class. Keating sees through Todd’s fear and first makes him yawp, and later makes him say whatever comes to mind.
Todd proves his loyalty to Keating by stand up to Cameron’s accusations of Keating. At that point, Cameron had been “deprogrammed” by the school, yet Todd is able to express his opinion that Cameron and the traditionalists are wrong. Todd was also the last of the five to sign the confession implicating Keating in Neil’s death. He feels incredibly guilty that he’s done so, and to show his loyalty to Keating, and that Keating actually taught him something valuable, he attempts to offer an explanation to Keating as to why they all signed the confession. He then stands on his desk and says, “O Captain! My Captain!” to prove that he does have a verse to contribute.
Richard Cameron
Richard Cameron is the only complete pragmatist in his class and almost never displays passion. He represents everything Keating is against and from the beginning of the film is shown as a realist. For example, on the first day of Keating’s class, Keating tells them they will all die one day, and it is up to them to take advantage of situations and make the most out of life. After class, Cameron asks if


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