Conformity is a central theme in the movie “The Dead Poet’s Society”. The teachers and their techniques are very old school, and frankly, not interesting. The teachers are elderly white males with dull, tiresome, mundane voices and very strict class rules. Unlike the teachers in the schools, the boys in the school are quite the contrary and believe in unconformity. The conformities that exist in the school stop the boys from pursuing their dreams and explore who they really are during high school. Teenagers need to be allowed to experiment, broaden their horizons, try new adventure to determine their own potential and interests. In this critical time in their lives, restricting their need to discover themselves can cause many unexpected and undesirable outcomes. The extreme differences between unconformity and conformity between the teachers and the students, lead the boys to acting out behaviors.
In the film there are many examples of the boys’ misbehaving antics. Neal, who unfortunately cannot become an actor, because of the disapproval of school personnel and his father, ends up committing suicide. The pressure of being just like everyone else and having his life planned out for him by his father became so overwhelming that he felt he did not have any other way of dealing with the pressure to conform. Some of the other students created a new club called the Dead Poets’ Society with the inspiration of a new teacher named Mr. Keating, who believed very much in unconformity. This new teacher was harshly criticized for his new ways of teaching and his influence over the boys in the school. The boys who were in this club had to secretly meet, because the fear of being expelled participating in something they believed in. In the end though there were some devastating endings, many of the boys stood up for their beliefs even though it meant risking being expelled or being punished which really showed that they were unconformists.