The film “Dead Poets Society” has become somewhat of an iconic film in Western culture. Years before YOLO (You Only Live Once), the much older Latin phrase carpe diem was briefly made popular again.
Carpe Diem. “Seize The Day”.
Welton, the boys-only boarding school depicted in this film is clearly focussed on hammering into their adolescent charges’ minds the fact that working hard at learning is the way to get ahead in life. To get anywhere in life. This is why Neil Perry’s father has sent him there (there are hints he has gone into debt to do so) and expects him to become a medical doctor. In Neil’s father’s mind, this is an honourable and high-paying profession, and likely one he couldn’t do himself. So he is giving his son every opportunity to, instead.
But Neil doesn’t want to become a doctor. He wants to be an actor. His passion is not to earn a lot of money and be well off, but to explore the emotions of words and story-telling. And his father does not understand this.
The story turns on this and similar conflicts.
If you have studied story structure, you would be able to pick the First Plot Point right around the 25% mark. This is where Neil convinces his friends to re-create the Dead Poet’s Society that their new English teaching, Mr John Keating, was apparently a member of when he studied at the same school. Crucially, this is where Neil takes a positive step to acknowledge his own emotional needs.