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N. H. Kleinbaum: Dead Poets Society
Von Gerhardt Brits

  • Englisch-Klausur (11.Klasse)
  • 2-stündig
  • 13 Punkte (Rechtschreib- und Wortfehler wurden korrigiert)

N. H. Kleinbaum: Dead Poets Society


1. Summarize the negative points the author sees in Keating’s teaching style.

2. Explain what Keating intends to say with the following two aphorisms addressed to Charlie. Do not use the underlined words.
2.1 “There is a time for daring, and a time for caution, and a wise man knows what is called for.” (lines 20/21)
2.2 “Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone.” (lines 22/23)

3. At the end of the novel, Keating is expelled from college. In a different passage of the text in hand the author therefore calls him “a Christ-like figure or a martyr”.
3.1 Explain the symbolism in this statement.
3.2 Do you agree with it? Discuss in detail.


A Film Review:

Keating begins another lecture by having the students rip out an introduction by J. Evans Pritchard because he thinks it is an excrement. This demonstrates his inability to teach a realistic style which conflicted with his overall romantic outlook on life. By ignoring the contrast between realism and romanticism, his teaching was biased and aided his students in their indulgence into romancism. From the perspective of Keating's students romanticism allowed far more freedom than realism and once they were confronted with an option they could embrace, roman- ticism became the compelling choice. It was the rebel movement away from the strict rules of the school and presented a fresh out- look on life. Keating does try to elaborate on his message. The DPS inspired the poets to become romantics who had no leader, no discipline, and no direction other than that of their passions. Keating knew where that would lead them, and once he realized his students were following a similar path he tried in vain to warn them of the consequences. For example, when Nwanda pulls his phone call from God'' stunt, Keating makes it very clear that he doesn't approve. He says, "There is a time for daring and a time for caution, and a wise man knows which is called for." He claims, "Sucking the marrow out of life doesn't mean choking on the bone." I think he did this because although he was a romantic, he had learned that discipline and tradition were essential to maintaining a well balanced life. It was the school's strong academic tradition and discipline that moulded Keating into the scholar and teacher he was. I do think Keating tried to be the anti- romantic romanticist that he preached, but at times, his passion clouded his ability to judge the outcome. His flaw in teaching the message was that he only portrayed the good points Todd was the one student Keating managed to "save'' with his message. Todd realized he did have a verse to contribute, but he did not need to contribute it by extreme measures. A simple standing on his desk was enough to show that he understood Keating. In that act, Todd becomes the leader as Knox, Pitts and Meeks followed soon after. Cameron, however, refuses to stand, at the end. It is probably safe to conclude that Knox followed because this was a romantic act and another way to speak out against tradition. Meeks and Pitts, on the other hand, probably did so because Keating did inspire them (whether they truly understood as Todd did is questionable). Regardless, this act proves that at least one person grasped the message and that Keating’s symbolic death was not in vain.

Extract from: http://www.deliriumsrealm.com/delirium/movies/dps_keating.asp

Task 1

In the text “A Film Review” the author states that Keating has an unbalanced teaching style because he does not manage to assimilate to other teaching styles than his own, nor adapt to them. Furthermore he glorifies the advantages of his way of life while not considering the disadvantages or consequences.

Task 2

Keating’s aphorism “There is a time for daring, and a time for caution, and a wise man knows what is called for.” is meant to restrain Charlie. I think Keating means that, when you have to make a choice, sometimes you have to take a risk and on other occasions you have to be certain of your decision and be careful and sensible. He means to say that a wise person evaluates a situation and chooses according to the result of that evaluation.
Keating’s second aphorism is a piece of advice referring to Charlie’s argument of “sucking the marrow out of life”. In my opinion it means that you have to concentrate on the essence of life, making the most of your time, while not letting yourself be held up by undesirable, unpleasant and unimportant things around you. One must rather be attuned to life’s beauty than its hindrances.

Task 3

Keating is called a Christ-like figure. This could be referring to the fact that Jesus Christ brought something completely new to the world. According to the bible, before Christ came the only way to be cleansed from your sins had been to render an offering unto God. After Jesus was crucified, one could repent and ask for forgiveness in simple prayer. In a similar way Keating brought something new into the boys’ world. He showed them a new way of life.
A martyr is somebody willing to die for a cause and in doing so inspire others to follow the same ideal and contribute to its fulfilling. This can also be transferred to Keating, since he was kicked out of Welton, not abandoning his ideals and outlook on life. The boys can find inspiration in this fact and try to establish a better balance in Welton.

I only agree to the symbol of a Christ-like figure to a certain extent. If the author meant this symbol in the way I earlier mentioned, I agree. Furthermore there are some parallels between Keating’s expulsion and the death of Jesus, e.g. they were both “killed” by the opposing party. However I see a conflict between the reason and the aim of Christ’s death and Keating’s expulsion. Christ’s death was the fulfilling of a plan conceived long before his birth, while Keating was expelled because he was a deliberate hindrance to the authority at Welton.

On the other hand, I completely agree with the symbolism in “martyr”, because Keating was like a martyr, the single scapegoat and target of a wrath towards a whole group. Once a suspect has been proven guilty, often he is punished beyond the necessary and becomes a martyr, which is exactly what happened to Keating.

Kategorie: Englisch | Kommentare (11)