"Life is a game that one plays according to the rules." People play by the rules, but is it worth living your life like that? In both, the novel "The Catcher in the Rye" and the movie "The Dead Poet's Society," main characters refuse to play by the rules. Holden, main character in "The Catcher in the Rye," and Neil, main character in "The Dead Poet's Society," both suffer form not following them.
Holden is sent to private school where discipline, honor, tradition and excellence are taught and expected to be achieved. But to Holden going to school and becoming a lawyer isn't everything he wants from life. He gets tired of always playing by the rules where you have to be polite and doing what everyone does. "I"m always saying "Glad to've met you" to somebody I"m not at all glad I met." People always try to be polite to even someone they don't like, but Holden thinks that if you don't like a person you shouldn't be all nice in front of him/her. When Holden hires a prostitute and she comes, he becomes too nervous and says the he "had an operation very recently." He wants to talk to her, but she refuses saying that she "got things to do." For Holden it's not important if he sleeps with her or not, because he doesn't follow the "rules of the game" where if somebody hires a prostitute he should sleep with her. What Holden really wants is love and understanding from his parents and their support on his own choice of what to do in life. At the end he suffers a nervous breakdown from not "following the rules of the game," and having to deal with people who don't understand him.
Neil, like Holden, is sent to private school where discipline, honor, tradition and excellence are taught and expected to be achieved too. Like Holden, he doesn't want to become a doctor, like his father wants him to be. He wants to be an actor. In the beginning of the school year a new English teacher, Mr. Keating, enters the school.