Dead Poets Society Assignment

The Movie Study Assignment Rubric will be used to grade this assignment.

Directions:  Describe examples from the video Dead Poets Society for each of the following concepts.

  1. An example of an ethical principle followed by one of the movie characters in the movie.  Explain how the movie character’s ethics affected their morality.
  2. An example from each level of Kolberg’s postulates.  It does not matter which stage of each level you use.
  3. An example of an arbitrary law followed or not followed by one of the characters in the movie.
  4. An example of a natural law as it applies to one of the characters in the movie. For example, it could be a movie character who followed or did not follow a natural law.
  5. A movie character whose action portrays aspects of narcissism.
  6. A movie character whose actions indicates inertia.
  7. A movie character from the movie that responds to authority with altruism.
  8. A character from the movie that responds to authority with utilitarianism.
  9. An example of a movie character that depicts personality rather than their true character.
  10. A person of character rather than just represents personality.
  11. An example of a movie character that used a defensive evasion of self-esteem or developing character.  Describe the specific evasion.
  12. An example of a movie character that used an offensive evasion of self-esteem or developing character. Describe the specific evasion.
  13. Which worldview – anthrocentrism or theocentrism – was prevalent in the video?  Explain your answer.

Be sure to describe the scene or movie character thoroughly.   When describing a movie character be sure to clearly describe behaviors that undoubtedly illustrate the concept (narcissism, altruism, etc.) that you want to represent.

Dead Poets Society Reflection 2

The following are two sets of questions relating to the movie Dead Poets Society.  Answer one of the sets of questions.  The reflection rubric will be used to grade this assignment.

Set One:

Answer the following three questions in a paragraph

  1. Would Neil Perry still have eventually committed suicide if Mr. Keating, his English teacher, had never come into his life? Why exactly did Neil take his own life? [Note:  To properly answer a questions such as these, find out why people commit suicide] Who really was to blame for Neil’s death?
  2. Could have Neil’s death have been prevented?  Could of his classmates have prevented his suicide?  [Note:  To properly answer a questions such as these, find out how suicide can be prevented] Could Neil have found another way out of his predicament? Was suicide his only answer?
  3. With similarly screwed up parents as Neil’s, why didn’t Todd take the same way out?

Set Two:

Answer the next two questions in a paragraph

  1. Just before the boys are called to testify, Cameron enters the room and is forced to defend his decision. He tells his friends, “Look, in case you haven’t heard, there is a honor code at this school, alright. If the teacher asks you a question, you tell the truth or you’re expelled”. Was Cameron following natural law?  Why or why not?  Was Cameron demonstrating character? Explain using specific examples from the movie.
  2. In the initial screenplay, Todd specifically does not sign the paper at the end. In the movie, we are not told one way or the other. Did Todd sign it or not? Why or why not? What would a person of character do? Explain. deadpoetsociety

Dead Poets Society Reflection 1

picture-12Select one of the questions below and answer it. When you have completed your answers, print it off and hand it in. The reflection rubric will be used to grade this assignment.


1. There is a scene whereby the English teacher, Mr. Keating, asks the students to read their original poems. When he asks Todd Anderson to read his, Todd says, “I didn’t do it. I didn’t write a poem”. Keating responds with, “Mr. Anderson thinks everything inside him is worthless and embarrassing. Isn’t that right, Todd? That’s your worst fear. I think you’re wrong. I think you have something inside that’s worth a great deal.” What is Todd’s self esteem like? What is Anderson so afraid of? Was Todd using one of the evasions of self-esteem? Which one? Could 1 John 4:18, which says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love”, provide a solution to Todd’s problem? Was Keating using love to help Todd?

2. There is a scene when Keating has his students marching in the courtyard. During that scene he tells them, “Conformity. The difficulty in maintaining your own beliefs in the face of others…Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular. Even though the herd may go ‘ That’s bad.’ Robert Frost said, ‘ Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.’” Is Mr. Keating really referring to character or is he referring to personality? Explain with what you learned about character and personality in class. Could John Keating be saying the same thing as it says in Romans 12:2? It says in Romans, Do not be conformed to this world,* but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Video Study: Dead Poets Society Reflection 1

picture-2Select the page on the left titled, Dead Poets Society Reflection Questions. This page contains two questions.  Select ONE of the questions and answer it.  Print it off and hand it in or e-mail it to me.

The reflection will be evaluated using the refection rubric which can also be found on the page titled, reflection rubric

REMEMBER, what I am looking for is your understanding of the concepts we have learned in class.  You must clearly indicate that you understand those concepts.  I am also looking for some personal revelations or insights.