When Did Dead Poets Society Take Place?

The Dead Poets Society was a popular film from the 1980s. But when was it set? And what was the historical context of the story?

Checkout this video:


Dead Poets Society is set at Welton Academy, an all-male preparatory school in New England in the Fall of 1959. The action of the film spans approximately seven months, from September to May.

The Time Period

The film Dead Poets Society takes place in 1959 at the fictional Welton Academy, an all-male preparatory school in New England. The story follows English teacher John Keating, played by Robin Williams, as he encourages his students to pursue their dreams and think for themselves outside the confines of conformity.

While the film is set in the late 1950s, it was actually released in 1989. This period of time is significant because it was a transitional moment in American history. The 1950s were a decade of prosperity and conformity in the United States, but by the end of the decade, there were signs that this calm was about to be disturbed. In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth. This event caused many Americans to worry that the Soviets were ahead of the United States in the space race and led to an increase in funding for science and math education.

The 1960s would bring even more change to American society with events such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War. Dead Poets Society captures a moment of transition between these two eras and serves as a reminder that every generation has something unique to offer.

The Characters

The story of Dead Poets Society takes place at an all-boys preparatory school called Welton Academy. The school is located in Vermont, and the year is 1959. The film follows a group of young men who are enrolled in an English class taught by their new English teacher, Mr. Keating.

The class is made up of several different characters, each with his own personality and story. Neil Perry is a straight-A student who is also a star athlete. He is under immense pressure from his father to succeed, and this pressure leads him to make some decisions that have tragic consequences. Todd Anderson is Neil’s roommate and complete opposite. He is shy and doesn’t excel in anything, which leads to him being compared unfavorably to Neil by his friends and family. Charlie Dalton is the rebellious one of the group, always looking for ways to break the rules. He gets kicked out of Welton Academy at the end of the story for his involvement in a prank gone wrong.

Dead Poets Society was released in 1989 and starred Robin Williams as Mr. Keating. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning two Academy Awards and grossing over $200 million at the box office.

The Plot

The movie Dead Poets Society is set in the year 1959 at Welton Academy, an all-boys preparatory school in New England. The story follows Professor John Keating (played by Robin Williams), a new English teacher at Welton, as he inspires his students to pursue their dreams and to think for themselves. Through his teaching, Keating encourages the boys to form their own secret society, the Dead Poets Society, in which they meet to read and discuss poetry.

Although Keating’s unorthodox methods are met with some resistance from the administration and from the boys’ parents, the students are ultimately able to see the value in what he is teaching them. The movie ends on a bittersweet note, with Keating being fired from Welton and one of his students, Neil Perry (played by Robert Sean Leonard), taking his own life.


Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

The Power of Literature and Language
Dead Poets Society emphasizes the importance of literature and language in everyday life. The boys are seen reading many different types of literature, including Whitman, Keats, Dylan Thomas, and Frost. Literature is quoted frequently throughout the film, and the boys often discuss literary concepts such as meter and simile. Because of their knowledge of literature, the boys are able to understand and appreciate life in a whole new way. This is most clearly seen when they recite Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” in Mr. Keating’s class. The boys are so moved by the poem that they are able to see the beauty in their own lives. The power of literature is also seen in Mr. Keating’s use of poetry to teach the boys about life. He uses poems to show them that there is more to life than what they can see with their eyes. For example, he has them close their eyes and imagine what it would be like to be inside a snow globe. This exercise allows the boys to see that life is full of possibilities if they just open their minds.

The Importance of Individuality
Another important theme explored in Dead Poets Society is the importance of individuality. Mr. Keating constantly encourages his students to think for themselves and not follow the crowd. He tells them that they should seize the day and make their lives extraordinary. This message is particularly important for Neil, who is under immense pressure from his father to become a doctor. Neil feels that he does not have any other choice but to follow in his father’s footsteps, but Mr. Keating helps him see that he does have a choice. He encourages Neil to follow his dreams and pursue his passion for acting instead of becoming a doctor like his father wants him to do. This ultimately leads to Neil’s downfall, but it also shows how important it is for people to live their own lives instead of following someone else’s path

The Significance

The year in which Dead Poets Society is set is significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is the time in which the Vietnam War is taking place. This means that there is a lot of social unrest and many young men are being drafted into the army. Secondly, it was a time of great change in America. The Civil Rights movement was in full swing and there were many protests against the government. Finally, it was a time when many young people were beginning to question the traditional values of their parents and society. They were looking for something new and exciting to believe in.

The Legacy

In the years since its release, “Dead Poets Society” has become something of a cult classic, with a passionate fan base that includes everyone from high school students to Hollywood celebrities. The film’s messages of non-conformity, individual expression and the power of words continue to resonate with people of all ages, and its popularity shows no signs of waning.

The Film

The film Dead Poets Society was released in 1989 and is set in the year 1959.

The Music

##Keywords: music, Dead Poet’s Society The movie, set in 1959, features music popular during that time period. Songs like “Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, and “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers are included on the soundtrack.


In conclusion, it is difficult to know for certain when exactly the events in Dead Poets Society took place. However, given the clues provided in the film, it is possible to make an educated guess. Based on the information provided, it is most likely that the film takes place sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Scroll to Top