Updated Final Assignment Description

Thesis: Film director Peter Weir’s “Dead Poets Society” highlights how societal conformity is the only way to be successful in the future–specifically, everything that occurs from college and forward. The film follows a new student at the Welton Academy, Todd Anderson, and his personal growth from strictly conforming to the standards of his parents–who represent society’s own standards–to following his own interests in the arts. For this videographic criticism, however, the focus will be on Todd’s roommate–Neil Perry. Like Todd’s parents, Neil’s parents also expect their son to focus on entering the medical field by studying the sciences while Neil is at the academy. In the movie’s society, men are prohibited from self-expression and are expected to solely focus on being successful in their future; because of this, Neil cannot handle his parents’ pressure and commits suicide. This shows how men are negatively affected by male stereotypes–in school and career–and how they are prohibited from entering the arts and are expected to enter law or the sciences.

– What is the scope of the project? For this project, I want to focus on how gender stereotypes work against men based off of the film Dead Poets Society. Throughout the film, the main character’s roommate and friend–Neil Perry–is unable to explicitly defy his father on what activities he should participate in. Eventually, Neil auditions for a role in a community production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His father finds out about this and makes the final decision to take Neil to a military boarding school. Ultimately, he commits suicide because he cannot handle the pressure he gets from his father and the school.

– What is the video’s argument? Many people focus on how women are negatively affected by gender stereotypes in all aspects of life. However, I feel that the same can apply to men.

– Are the keywords appropriate? Are there better keywords to apply? I decided to remove content from my focused keywords for this project. Instead, I replaced it with stereotypes. The finalized list of keywords that I will use for this project is power, gender, representation, and stereotypes.

– Can one accomplish these goals in 3-5 minutes and be convincing? If not, how can the project be further refined? I feel that it is a bit time constraining to portray the entirety of my argument in 3-5 minutes. In order to refine my project, I will solely focus on gender stereotypes against men at school–or throughout their childhood overall.

–Are there other sources that should be included? I plan on using sources from outside of what we read/watched for this course; these other sources will explicitly focus on male gender stereotypes and how it affects them when they are at a younger age.

One thought on “Updated Final Assignment Description

  • November 11, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    The thesis is still too vague. It is making a large generalization that is difficult to prove. Rather, your argument should make a claim about the film and what it can tell us about ideologies/ culture. Is it that the film shows how narrow ideas about masculinity can limit people’s identities and cause harm? And we can learn this through the story this film tells?

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