Other characters

Dr. Gale Nolan

Dr. Gale Nolan is the headmaster of Welton Academy in the film Dead Poets Society (1989) directed by Peter Weir. He was an English teacher at Welton before he took on administration duties.

Dr. Nolan is very proud of his school and the prestige that the school has means a lot to him. At the school opening ceremony, he declares that Welton Academy is “the best preparatory school in the United States (oo:03:41-00:03:55), and, he smiles, pleased with himself when people start clapping. 

Dr. Nolan is the opposite of Keating. He represents everything that Keating despises and rejects: realism, formality, conservatism, rigid following of the rules. At the same time, Keating represents everything Dr. Nolan despises and rejects: nonconformity, idealism, out-of-the-box thinking, spontaneity. 

The only conversation we witness between Dr. Nolan and Keating ends in disagreement, even if both parties appear polite. Dr. Nolan appears shocked by the idea that Keating teaches the boys to think for themselves and appeals to Keating to stick to the curriculum. 

For Dr. Nolan, following the curriculum is the only thing a teacher must do. His school has found a winning formula: cramming the curriculum into the students and overworking them, even at the expense of their physical and mental health. The fact that the students are not as appreciative of the school as the parents does not matter to him, because it is the parents who pay the taxes. Dr. Nolan sees Keating’s unorthodox methods as challenging his winning formula and threatening the success of the school.

George McAllister

George McAllister is the Latin teacher at Welton Academy. He appears to be a traditionalist when it comes to his teaching methods. He teaches students the declensions in Latin by making them repeat them over and over again. 

McAllister doe...

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