Dead Poets Society

Authority Against Individualism: Dead Poets Society and The Rabbits 11th Grade

The controlling and oppressive nature of authority can instigate acts of rebellion from the individual, creating underlying tension and generating an unstable and problematic relationship. Peter Weir explores notions unconformity through Dead Poets Society by depicting how subtle acts of rebellion can create conflict, resulting in detrimental effects on the individual. Furthermore, John Marsden and Shaun Tan’s The Rabbits expresses how the overbearing and powerful authority coerces the individual to adhere to the contradictory beliefs of the authority.

The strictly hierarchical nature of the authority results in the individual becoming frustrated as a consequence of unreasonable pressure to conform to unjust societal values, and hence increasing the contingency for rebellious, potentially harmful activities, in turn creating conflict. Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society explores the unstable relationship between the two entities through his depiction of a highly traditional and conservative authority that exerts its power in order to bully the individual to supress creativity, however leading to subtle acts of rebellion. The unsteady relationship is introduced through the mise-en-scène of the incredibly uniform and symmetrical dorm...

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