Foreword | March 01, 1992

This text is not currently available online.

In the Peter Weir film Dead Poets’ Society Robin Williams plays prep-school teacher John Keating, whose theatrical talents and fresh attitude inspire his students to think for themselves. During their first class discussion of poetry, Keating tears out the introduction to the “J. Evans Prichard” textbook. Later, he stands on his desk and encourages each of his students to do likewise to “get a different perspective.” Keating’s popularity inspires a small group from his class to look through an old yearbook, where they discover their teacher’s affiliation with the “Dead Poets’ Society” when he was a student, and they proceed to recreate the society, gathering to read poetry in a cave not far from the school. While physically not distant, the cave is an exotic place for these teenagers, where they are carried out of their world into the eternal time of poetry.

If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.