Conforming To Society In The Republic, Dead Poets Society, and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

What can we learn by going to the movies? A great deal, if we pay attention, for while movies are primarily attempts to make money for their producers and thus aimed a wide audience this, does not mean that they are therefore devoid of serious content. Indeed, sometimes offerings from the mass media can be even more instructive than more obviously "serious" forms of education because they wrap their messages in linguistic texts that are easier for us to recognize and understand. Thus while we should certainly still read the great classic texts like Plato's Republic, we should also not dismiss out of hand movies Dead Poets Society and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as arenas in which we ...

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of this Greek philosopher's work.
The overriding question that Plato asks in the Republic is both simple and yet fundamental to all societies, and especially to all democratic ones: What may we legitimately require of our leaders? This may seem to be a simple question, and in some sense it is. What we (at least if we are referring to the citizens of a democracy) can reasonably ask of our leaders is the quality of leadership. But what is that elusive quality? What must leaders provide us in return for our surrendering to them a good portion of our dearly held autonomy and independence?
The question of what a leader should do and be is, of course, hardly a new one. It lay at the heart of some of the most important debates of the classical world as well as the modern. We cannot help but, when we read Plato's political and moral philosophy as he expresses it in The Republic, to find some of our questions being asked. Plato, and Socrates as he is represented in this text by his ...

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upper classes of his society. It is essential to look to the upper classes of any society if we are to understand how that society works, for it is the upper ranks that hold the power and that determine in many ways the social structure of the organization. Peter Weir, who directed Dead Poets' Society understands this point as well: The story that he tells in the movie would be an entirely different one if he were not addressing the values of the wealthy and powerful.
Thus while it is certainly important to acknowledge the ways in which The Republic is in many important ways a product of its time (and so most certainly not reflective of any sort of universal human morality) it is ...

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"Conforming To Society In The Republic, Dead Poets Society, and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest." Essayworld.com. July 16, 2015. Accessed December 4, 2021. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Conforming-Society-Republic-Dead-Poets-Society/104780.
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Added: 7/16/2015 03:22:22 AM
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