The Love of the Arts

Carpe Diem. That phrase has stuck by me ever since I watched Dead Poets Society for the first time last year. I never thought my admiration for literature and the arts were so significant. It felt like a dream, watching the film before my wondering eyes. When it ended, I sat there thinking and contemplating many events that had happened during it. I knew I wanted to have a future in journalism, specifically print. But watching Dead Poets Society gave me bigger aspirations in the dark academia field–especially poetry. Poetry became personal for me. It became a way for me to express my emotion towards life because of my social anxiety. I, personally, saw myself as one of the characters: Todd Anderson. Todd Anderson has helped me understand the situation I am in; a quiet person, who has a passion for writing/poetry, but is unable to express it due to anxiety. But, with people who genuinely care for him, he is able to open up, specifically to Neil Perry. He became this dynamic character who I saw as myself. My social anxiety has got exceedingly better this year–and because of that, I became more vulnerable, which is now a strength of mine. Watching Dead Poets Society, I was able to embrace the me that I am right now. Neil Perry was also a character that wholeheartedly inspired me. He never gave up on his dreams, even when his family did not support him. No matter what happened, Neil was always going to pursue his dream of acting. His love for the arts gave me a feeling that I never knew–ambition to keep going and continue aiming high, even if there are people out there who are never going to support you. Mr. Keating was the school’s English teacher. To the rest of the boys in the film and I, Keating was a special person who inspired numerous people. I look up to him as a teacher because he absolutely wanted his students to succeed, not just in their staple careers but in life as a romantic for the little things. He taught far beyond education. My favorite quote from the film is “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. And 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.” This quote brought out a new side of me. We look at careers like business and engineering, and believe that this is the most important path for us. That is not what life is about. We have to admire the beauty of life–the simpler things. Constantly working is only going to depress us. But, having that love, poetry, and romance in our lives is essential to how we live. This film, and novel, all in all, has encouraged me to speak my mind. Because words and ideas can change this world. This is why Dead Poets Society influenced my life the most.

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