Directors use many different techniques when filming a movie. Unlike other forms of storytelling, movie directors have completely control of what the viewer sees. An author picks words to describe what they see, but most words have multiple meanings.
This can lead to confusion about many scenes in numerous books. Stage directors can pick the set, the costumes, and the actors, but what an audience member sees is still up to the work of others. Also, no two shows are ever identical, so you could see a play on a Wednesday, and then go on Thursday and things would happen differently.
Films, however, are completely under the director’s control. Once something is filmed and added, it stays that way forever. That is what gives them such great power, but also great responsibility. One of those responsibilities is making their message and theme clear to the audience. This is achieved in Dead Poets Society by the use of the Trickster and Scapegoat Archetypes though Mr. Keating, as well as the Monomyth Archetype through Todd Anderson.
The Archetype of the Trickster is one of great importance to both the characters of a film, and the viewers. The Trickster uses elements such as shock and humor to get his message across to the people around him. In the case of film this is to the audience of the picture, and the characters in it.
This character is one that can bring humor and entertainment to a film, but most importantly it expresses one the greatest messages the film contains. Without the Trickster the audience would not receive the message in the same manner the characters do.
In the article “Interpreting The Day the Earth Stood Still for Contemporary Film Audiences” written in 2008, the Author, Joshua Pardon, writes about the messages that were sent to the American film audience of 1951 through the film The Day the Earth Stood Still, based on a short story by Harry Bates written in 1940. These messages ranged from topics like the societal costs of atomic technology and ...
Often when the characters of the film are shocked, the audience is able to feel that emotion, and share in it. If the same message was being conveyed by the Benevolent Guide, then the message would have likely not been made clear, or relevant, to the audience.
For the message to be made clear by this Archetype, the audience members would have to be going through the same trials as the characters, which is highly unlikely, making the Trickster a valued and important character in film.
In Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams’ character John Keating is the Trickster of the film. Keating takes the seemingly “cookie-cutter” prep school world and tries to rebel against it.
Some of the first scenes of the film are of classrooms with “normal” teachers teaching students. It is hard to distinguish one teacher from another in the collection of clips. Most are speaking in the same monotone voice, lecturing to their class from the textbook in their hands. Then we are shown Keating. Mr. Keating breaks the rhythm of this orchestrated institution. He does not read directly from a textbook in the front of the classroom.
In fact, one of the first things he does is walk out of the classroom and begin speaking to the students in the hallway. He brings them to a wall of pictures and shows them the similarities between the photographed boys and themselves. He then begins to speak to the boys about their similar fates, and how one day they will end up dead just like the boys in the pictures.
This first experience with Mr. Keating leaves the boys, and the audience, in a slight state of shock. He presents their world to them in a way that no other teacher has before. This view is one that belittles the schools importance and disagrees with what it stands for.
Keating also shocks the students when he has them rip out the beginning of their poetry textbooks, which explains what poetry is and how you should rate it. The students are reluctant to do so at first, possibly thinking that this is a trick. Slowly, though, one by one, they rip out the beginning pages.
Miss Ever’s Boys is a docudrama film that was produced by the HBO cable network. The movie explores ethical and social issues involved in the infamous Tuskegee Study. The study was about untreated black men with syphilis. The U.S. Public Health Service is said to have conducted a study among 600 black Americans from the years 1932 to 1972. This study was done in Macon County. This paper will ...
This is a large step for Keating and for the boys. It shows that Keating is beginning to get through to them, and they are beginning to trust him. Ripping up parts of textbooks goes against everything these boys have been taught their entire academic careers, and it shows great faith and influence on the part of Mr. Keating, for them to do such a thing. This also demonstrates Keating’s relentlessness to break away from the society he and the students are in.
This denial of the books teachings is meant to symbolize the school’s teachings and it’s core values. He was once working within the system to achieve his goals, but now he is trying to change the system to meet his standards. Standards that are not agreed upon by those in charge of the school, and contradict the principles it was founded on.
The Archetype of the Scapegoat seems to resolve the film. The Scapegoat is expelled from the society that they are in by either those in power, or he becomes so alienated that he leaves voluntarily. John Keating is the perfect example of this archetype as well.