BOOK REVIEW: Dead Poets Scoiety by N. H. Kleinbaum

Dead Poets SocietyDead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before starting the review, I am going to ask you a general question about poetry, Why do we read Poetry? Or if you are a poet yourself, why do you write it? Try answering this amiable quest for yourself. Stop now, and think about it. Take a moment, describe in one (or many) word(s) as you prefer, ‘Why do you read or write Poetry?’

Okay then, I guess, you have answered the question for yourself. Now let’s see what cordial John Keatings has to say on the concerning matter,

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.

The quote is from the Dead Poets Society written by N. H. Kleinbaum adapting a movie in to a book that is a simple, short and will probably take same amount of time to read as many of us might have spent on the movie.

For those who haven’t watched the movie or read the book, I’ll summarize the plot: Todd Anderson and his friends at Welton Academy can hardly believe how different life is since their new English professor, the flamboyant John Keating, has challenged them to make their lives extraordinary! Inspired by Keating, the boys resurrect the Dead Poets Society–a secret club where, free from the constraints and expectations of school and parents, they let their passions run wild. As Keating turns the boys on to the great words of Byron, Shelley, Whitman, and Keats, they discover not only the beauty of language, but the importance of making each moment count.But the Dead Poets pledges soon realize that their newfound freedom can have tragic consequences.

There isn’t much to the plot and the characterization as the book takes an assumption that the reader is already familiar with them. Even though, you haven’t heard about it, and still thinking of giving it a try, go for it. It does brief about main characters.

The book raise inquisitive yet snooping questions about our teaching methods. Should the teachers must adapt the flamboyant method of John Keatings and instead of just concentrating on the text, should we let each student touch his own heart and let him experience the amiability of life? Or should students must be left alone with their texts and not let them get impressionable at such an early age? The query itself is tough one and must be given a deep thought. The answer to this query will depend from person to person and his/her methods of acceptance as there is no such thing as a perfect answer. It’s all about the words and ideas that matter and each of them have a tendency to affect the surroundings in both effective and ineffective manner.

That the powerful play(of life) goes on, and you may contribute a verse. -WALT WHITMAN

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24 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Dead Poets Scoiety by N. H. Kleinbaum

  1. “Captain, my captain”. Deads Poets Society… What a wonderful movie: I grew up with Robin William’s movies so I am absolutely high influenced by his ideas. Yesterday night I watched on tv Will Hunting and it was another masterpiece.
    The book….

    I dreamed of being an American student when I was little for meeting a teacher like John Keating. Wow what a man, what an intelligence. I will answer: “YES!” to your question about the educative method of professor John. But because to me each person needs to develop its own character and at time school is too much suffocating for trying to give to every students the possibility of developing his/her own personality and the teen-age age is a very conflictual and delicate period: it’s the moment of the final process of the formation of the personality of the new still “little” individual. Every input, positive or negative can influencing this process. It’s a very delicate phase. The brain of a young individual is like a sponge and live during the teen-age age great conflicts as well. More creativity and originality will be presented to the students, mroe words of encouragements and more they will be happy and more they will be able to read reality under another perspective. Exactly what their Captain wanted to do with them.

    Of course I strongly agree that a real serious education need great books, good schools and some severe teachers as well for growing up good and serious people.
    Absolutely. Although rigidity is never good, like dialogue can be.

    A student, a teen-ager needs also a jolly or a dreamer or someone able to breaking the rules like professor John Keating did because it’s important to discover who a young adult is, his/her own potentialities and who he/she can become. And firstly the young adult must start to think with his/her own brain living the life he/she wants to live.

    At time parents do not understand this message and they would want to force their children to be or to act or to live their own life, influencing their final choices. Problem is that children are not property of parents, but are individuals and they need to be and express their own life.

    It was what Captain wanted to do with them all: encouraging them of thinking with their own brain.

    It’s a very beautiful movie.

    If the book is just intense as the movie was must be a masterpiece.

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    1. First of all, thanks for reading the review. I somewhat disagree that the teenage age is the final mode of developing one person’s final personality and I wholesomely believe its a life long process. Personality development leads to inner development too.
      I agree though that patents do influence their children in making their choices and that should not happen to a greater extent. I mean, parents must support and discuss with their children instead of forcing on them. 🙂

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      1. In fact the main plot of the movie was that one: one of the parent didn’t accept that his son could become something else from the career he had planned for him once finished the school.. But there is to ask to ourselves this: a parent should plan a career for a son or a daughter? Is it and it must be always implied that a parent should give for accepted and discountd the fact that the son/daughter will work for them, living a life not planned by himself/herself but planned mainly by their parents? Or the social structure close to him/her? Plus John the teacher and captain of this team of boys wasn’t a bad teacher (we don’t talk of someone who wanted to influencing in a wrong way the personalities of these teen.-agers. He was a very healthy mental person with his own ideas and in grade to think that he had in front of him other great human being with a lot of potentialities to express. He just asked to them of….thinking with their own brain and not being sheeps as the society would want to create people, all standardized and without a define personality) at all. Educators can see the future and destiny of every teen-ager, if they’re serious, much better at times than what their own parents can do because they know the other part of them. Remember Matilda? The movie? Who had discovered the potentialities of Matilda? The parents? Nah….The teacher.
        Yes the society now is much more complicated and the possibility of chosing and building a good existence unfortunately very reduced by the economic crisis. I always think that if we do give quality to our children we will receive back great results. It was just what the Captain wanted to give to them. Instruments in term of books, but of course also the possibility of thinking with their own brain and opening their minds not just at what they were seeing and the life they were living. For chosing their own destiny and what they wanted to become with more independence.

        It is true that the process of “growing up” of a person is long and it’s a life-time job because of the situations, people we meet on the road of this long trip that it is life 🙂 Just:it is true that the teen-age age is a very very delicate phase for the life of a human being and need great support from parents, teachers. The captain wanted just to be supporting and let them see the reality with different eyes. He couldn’t imagine a suicide…

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  2. That’s a good question. I had lots of poetry published, and got my MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers Workshop; I was also married to a poet. I’ve never tried to put the reason I did it into words.

    That movie moves me immensely, maybe partly because I’m also a writing teacher and identify with Keating, as I called my first writing classes Deprogramming 101.

    I like to see the boys experience the power of rhythm when they dance to the poems, and express the passion and intensity of feeling that reaches deep inside the core of the self — the urgency to speak out our aliveness while we can, and to connect with others in a meaningful way that celebrates depth and beauty with power.

    Of course, not all poetry is passionate and about love and the other things the excellent quote mentions. That does speak to my heart, but some poetry is dry, witty, with jarring juxtapositions that subvert expectations. It can be biting, cerebral, conceptually experimental, playfully or nihilistically absurd.

    I think poetry expresses something other than a mundane experience of life. It can allow even dabblers a chance to release and honor strong feelings. If it’s well done, it shows an appreciation of the world in an intelligent way that stimulates the imagination and ultimately, to BE mundane about it, raises the neurotransmitters like seratonin.

    I’d say why we do anything voluntary comes down to neurtransmitters in the end. We can take something that happened to us and view it in a way that engages our theta brainwaves in the same way we do when processing with dreams. We can polish it until every word and pause is muscular and dynamic, making something out of our pain and private events that can be shared at a literary reading and make others resonate with us, entertain them, carrying through the ancient tradition of performing for each other around fire.

    Poetry turns brain chemicals into wonder, and individuals into connections,

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  3. I am working with the teen age boys -girls including my son . I found the movie very provocative. I still have to assimilate it and understand all dialogues. I am also disturbed because I had been a teacher myself and found it difficult to interact in a guided way. Well I have to explore more. The movie has left disturbing impressions as for now.

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  4. One of my favorite movies! When I teach I watch my student’s eyes. Invariably a noticeable spark appears which provides me with insight into their interests. Every child is unique and I think it is important to recognize what triggers their imagination and to encourage it as much as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.
    Maybe you could write next articles referring to this
    article. I want to read even more things about it!

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  6. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

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