The dynamic relationship of authority and the individual is one of continuous variation, where to achieve peace, external dispute and internal disbelief must be overcome. When an individual uses their own critical analysis, they can find harmony within themselves and others, conquering overarching executive with judgement and vitality. This idea of resolute persons creating change is seen in Peter Weir’s 1989 film “Dead Poet’s Society”, and Greta Thunberg’s 2018 speech advocating for climate action, where a singular person persists for wellbeing and justice.
With a unified balance of passion and reason, individuals can face restrictive figures courageously, achieving social growth and internal belief.
The 1989 film “Dead Poet’s Society”, directed by Peter Weir, explores this idea of freedom and assurance found from within through an enlightening coming of age tale, where English teacher Mr Keating inspires teenage boys to look beyond the classroom, to explore rebellious societies, newfound relationships, paternal struggles and growth from within.
To break away from conformity, acceptance is required, such as Mr Keating’s first lesson where the boys are encouraged to think freely and openly, where use of hyperbole and low camera angles in “no matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world” demonstrates Mr Keating’s belief in the boys as equals, and the dedication and energy that individuals need in order to abandon executive figures and norms in favour of trust in oneself to create change.
Reason is required to grow, learn and understand choices, as seen when Mr Keating educates Charlie after he risks expulsion from the publication of a disreputable news article, with metaphor in dull lighting of “sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone”, displaying that while it is a necessity for young people to explore newfound freedom and boundaries, they must still look back to influential figures for evaluation.
Passion can inspire individuals to follow their dreams, despite authoritative constraints, as when Neil pronounces his eagerness for acting, where irony and exclamation are used; “for the first time, I’m gonna do it! Whether my father wants to or not!” emphasising how any person, regardless of their position or outcome, can aspire for change when zest and belief are apparent.
Discovery of reasoning with confidence is displayed in the final scene when the boys stand on their desks in salutation to Mr Keating, where high angle camera shots and textual illusion in “O captain, my captain” reference Walt Whitlam’s admiration of President Abraham Lincoln, where Mr Keating’s departure is like that of the President’s assassination, further illustrating the growth of knowledge, certainty and tenacity throughout the film, where the students are depicted finally as equals to their teachers, after a discovery of passion and trust.
Overall, when individuals advocate for empowerment and improvement, they do so with dedication and evaluation.
When individuals use their reason and commitment, respect can arise after conflict where each party admits the other’s self-driven leadership. In the 2018 speech by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old responding to the climate crisis in front of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, this motion of individuals responding to overarching influential figures by internal reason and external rebellion is displayed courageously.
One person advocating for many through experience and energy is viewed when Greta establishes her headstrong character and goal, where emotive language and anecdote is used in “I’ve learned you are never too small to make a difference”, highlighting desire to spread reason and motivate others to harmony. Greta’s action of empowerment is similar to Mr Keating’s influence upon the boys, as they both inspire those around them through argumentation and wholeheartedness.
Uprising to threatening situations is demonstrated when Greta confronts the politicians of the future of climate and humanity, through the use of oxymoron and emotive language within “you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future”, to highlight the contrasting nature of words as opposed to actions, where there is a call for individuals to understand the complex identity of authoritative figures, as one that is to be investigated to receive justice.
Want of respect and collective interest in a goal is found in the final paragraph of call to action, through repeated use of the collective noun ‘we’ in “we need to focus on equity… we have not come to beg· · we have come for change·” underscoring the unity required by singular people that wish to make change against organisations, where emphasis on evaluation and teamwork can cause a collective goal to be achieved. Therefore, the aspiration to unity requires respect from individual’s analysis and devotion.
Overall, when critical judgement is embraced by single persons with assertion and confidence, disagreement between dominant figures is surmounted, displaying ultimate authority within, as understood in “Dead Poet’s Society” and the climate speech by Greta Thunberg.