Keating's encouragement of transcendentalist views affected Neil and Todd in both positive and negative ways. Neil was affected in a positive way by his pursuit of acting even though it was against his parents' wishes. Mr. Keating encouraged Neil by using class activities, such as the exercise in the courtyard, to show him that every one has his own path that he need to follow. In the courtyard Mr. Keating showed the boys how easy it was to conform to society by making them walk around in a circle and then having them clap. This theme of conforming to society and needing to make your own path is shown in the transcendentalist essay "Self-Reliance" when it stated to "trust thyself.
""Self-Reliance" also explains how society should not determine what you think is right in the quote, "He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness."Neil's choice to continue acting fits this quote because his parents did not think acting was a good thing, but Neil thought that is was good and pursued acting. Neil's acting career was a positive effect of Mr. Keating's encouragement of transcendentalism. The major negative effect Mr. Keating's encouragement could have caused was Neil's suicide.
Neil felt pressure from his parents to be everything they wanted him to be, but Neil wanted to do other things and wanted to be his own person. Neil's father turned against him when he brought Neil home, sat him down, and told him " We are trying very hard to understand why it is you insist on defying us."Neil wasn't trying to defy his parents in any way.
He was just trying to reach for his dreams of becoming an actor. In "Self-Reliance," Emerson explains how only what you think truly matters. Neil wanted to act, but he felt it would never work with his parents always being non-supportive of him. Mr. Keating was talking to the Latin teacher and quoted himself by saying, "But only in their dreams/ can a man be truly free/ twas always thus/ and always thus will be." Neil was too weak to stand up to his father and tell him that he wanted to act. He wanted to persuade his father to let him act, but knew that his father would never listen and would never understand why he wanted to act.
Neil's suicide was a major negative effect due to the transcendentalist views supported by Mr. Keating. Todd was a shy person in the beginning of the movie, but became very outspoken due to the encouragement of transcendentalism by Mr. Keating. Todd felt he was not good enough to be at Welton.
In class one day, Todd did not write the poem assigned for homework by Mr. Keating. Mr. Keating encouraged Todd to let himself go and for Todd to not think about anyone else in the room.
Mr. Keating spoke to the class and said "Mr. Anderson thinks that everything inside him is worthless and embarrassing. Isn't that right, Todd? Isn't that your worst fear? Well I think.