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Neil was not the only main character, the movie also focused on Todd Anderson’s growth since meeting Neil and Professor Keating. Todd was extremely quiet and reserved; Neil and Professor Keating helped him come out of his shell. Neil befriended, encouraged, and
Staggers 7listened to him. Mr. Keating also listened to him and taught him to look at the world from a different prospective, as well as helped him overcome his fear of public speaking. Todd lacked confidence in himself because as he stated when he speaks, no one listens. This was evident in the meeting Todd had with the headmaster and his parents, following the accusation that Mr. Keating was responsible for Neil’s choice to commit suicide. Neither his parents nor the headmaster even bothered to ask him what happened, they just made him sign a statement. At the end of the movie, Todd finally decided to speak up and make the headmaster listen. His initiation of the protest showed how far he had come since he first started at Welton. He was no longer going to stay stuck in the box that the adults in his life put him in. In conclusion, the role of a parent is to guide a child to becoming a successful adult. In order to accomplish this task, a parent must provide love, emotional and financial support. In both Equus and Dead Poets Society, the parents neglected to provide their children with the emotional support they needed. In Equus, Alan’s parents had conflicting views on religion and parenting style. This was obviously confusing to him so he made up his own religion to make sense of it all; this, coupled with his parents ignoring the signs and symptoms of his behavior, caused him to mutilate 6 horses and end up in a psychiatric hospital. In Dead Poets Society, Neil’s parents were unsupportive of his hopes and dreams and caused him to feel so hopeless that he thought it was easier to take his own life than to deal with his parent’s controlling behavior any longer. Each child had a burning passion inside that the adults in their life tried to extinguish. The suppression of these passions led to self-destruction. Alan’s mother stated “It’s our fault whatever happens, we did it. Alan’s the little victim,” though she was being sarcastic, Dora was correct; a child does not participate in self-destructive behavior without
Staggers 8reason. They do it because in the moment they feel justified by their actions. A majority of the time, something negative happened in their life to push them to that point, whether it was done deliberately or ignorantly; therefore, Dora, the parents are indeed to blame.
Staggers 9Works Cited Dead Poets Society. Directed by Peter Weir, performances by Robin Williams, Touchstone Pictures, 1989Shaffer, Peter.EQUUS. Scribner, 2005.U.S. National Library of Medicine. Mental Disorders, Also Called: Mental Illness. Medline Plus.15 September 2014 Recovery Brands, LLC. Mental Health Problem Symptoms, Causes and Effects.American Addiction Center Inc. 2019 -disorders/