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O Captain My Captain This infamous quote by Walt Whitman is used repeatedly in the movie Dead Poets Society and is a significant theme throughout the film It was a mantra used by English Professor John Keating to encourage his students to carpe diem Several students who were subjected to high educational standards given to them by their families and they took that expression to heart and did as the idiom said they did what they could to seize the day Looking at Neil Perrys life he demonstrates the frustration of being a young adult while attending a preparatory school and dealing with his father where he learns to live by a mantra in order to find freedom and in doing so Neil finds the only way he can be free from lifes pressures is to commit suicide Neil Perry is accepted into a prestigious preparatory school for boys This school is where Professor Keating teaches and where Neil finds his love for acting in the school theater When Neil Perry decides to pursue a career in the performing arts rather than in medicine his father Mr Perry becomes furious Repeating in his mind carpe diem Neil follows his heart and does what he feels he should do which is continue to act His father strict rules for Neil and he is to attend medical school but Neil want to follow his heart and entertain His father does not see what is important to Neil thus causing Neil to act behind his fathers back Neil has difficulty maintaining his own values and conforms to what he was told to do and only discloses that which he knows his father wants to hear This causes immense inner turmoil for Neils adolescent mind Neils tries to maintain what was told of him by his father but still he tries to make decisions based on what he wants to do with his life Mr Keating
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