Breaking Down the Meaning of Life

Questions arose all the time around the topic of human’s existence. What is the meaning of life? What is the point? Where does it start? Are there end goals? So many unanswered questions yet books, movies and poems have been created to try and understand the meaning of this question. The two pieces of evidence that will be the main focus of the point trying to made is the film Dead Poets Society created by Peter Weir and the short story “Walter Mitty” written by James Thurber. Dead Poets Society is centered on teenagers who go to an all boys school with very strict rules. A teacher by the name Mr. Keating begins at the school as the main bunch English teacher. He envelopes the boys into a new view on life and poetry. “Walter Mitty” is focused on an old man who happens to be also named Walter Mitty. The man has many eccentric dreams. Usually, they could be only found in a drama or an action film but Mitty puts himself in each scene. His wife doesn’t agree with his imagination. In this case Dead Poets Society and the “Secret Life of Walter Mitty” both explore and tell as story of what the meaning of life is. At the same time the people in these stories want more in life. They want a meaning. However, Dead Poets Society follows young men who learn how to make their dreams a possibility. On the other hand, Walter Mitty follows an older who has gone through life already and is rather stuck with his choices. He can only dream of something else. Ultimately, both tales tell a story about one discovering what they really want in life and finding ways to get that. Or even take glimpse on the thing they want.

Similarly, Dead Poets Society and “Walter Mitty” both focus on dreams. One story follows it more closely and literally (Walter Mitty). While Dead Poets Society is more centered on achieving the hidden dreams of some of the characters. The dreams that don’t exactly stand by the decisions their parents have made for the boy’s futures. Mr. Keating who is a strong and intellectual person decides to change how English would be taught in this year’s class. He teaches the boys to view life and poetry in a different light. With each passing minute of the movie these characters learn more about themselves and how they should let their passions shine. Neil from the movie took this to heart and started up the dead poet’s society once again and he also joined a play. He had chosen his passion of the arts. Todd is another perfect example. His shy personality was because of being in his brother’s big successful shadow for so many years. Mr. Keating opened him up into being his own person with his own voice. “Walter Mitty” follows dreams as well. He just has more of a dramatic action movie like imagination He is an older man who has a wife and is most likely retired. Mitty has gone through life. However, he isn’t very pleased with his choices. It can be inferred that, that is why Mitty has so many dreams of other professions or other lifestyles in general. Both sources give an idea of what the meaning life entails. Find what the joy in life and don’t take anything for granted. Choose a path that makes things exciting “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary” (Weir) or you might end up dreaming of something implausible to occur at an age where its to late to change a thing.

There is difference that occur between these two stories. In Dead Poets Society the film is centered around mostly a cast of young adults. Besides Mr. Keating, other teachers and parents; it is largely set with these young men. It is also in movie form. That doesn’t mean the older generation will not focus on this film but it is to believe that it is meant for a rather younger audience. Not to young but the age group that is focused in this film is the age group it is shooting for. “Walter Mitty” on the other hand; is about an old man. And either it was told in that English class that had to be taken or older people read this short story. Each story reached out to a different audience. Dead Poets Society taught the younger audience to not make life all about school and getting somewhere else so fast. It taught the main character Todd those lessons of standing up for what he wants, while “Walter Mitty” sort of reached out to the older audience in a sympathetic way of understanding. Maybe even to teach the younger ones in the family to not make the same mistakes.

In conclusion Dead Poets Society and the “Secret Life of Walter Mitty” both explore and tell as story of what the meaning of life is. At the same time the people in these stories want more in life. They want a meaning. Thus, both tales tell a story about one discovering what they really want in life and finding ways to get that. Considering what has been written and compiled together in this piece; it is found that the meaning of life is what one chooses it to be. A path made by choices. Choosing one that makes happiness and joy filling most day. Finding something that is interesting and captivating. Always learning new skills and adapting to find that path. Reaching for that dream and grabbing onto it. The meaning of life has been with everyone the whole time. It just had to be recognized.

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