DEAD POETS SOCIETY, Robin Williams, 1989
By: Sarah Sorour

Social interactions and experiences can often be subconsciously influenced by the negative messages the media tends to convey. That is the most common factor and explanation to why we live in a troubled world. However, the effect of movies and books can be reversed and highlight the positive side in shaping people’s perceptions. Instead of focusing on the media aggression, violence, stereotypes and gender inequalities; we will focus on the bigger picture and how certain uplifting and inspiring movies can help us become better people.

The following list includes movies and books that we think bring out the goodness in people.


The Alchemist

This book’s spiritual message highlights the importance of finding your purpose in life without allowing fear to stop you from pursuing your dreams. Once you find your “personal legend”, the entire universe will conspire in helping you to achieve it. An Andalusian shepherd boy dreamt that he would find a treasure at the Egyptian Pyramids, the story follows his journey to finding that treasure.


The Swiss Family Robinson

It’s easier to go through the pain alone than to go through it with your family. This book tackles how a family got stranded on an island and is forced to overcome and work through their problems together.  We live in a society where the majority of the time, “family” is just a name. The book teaches you about strength and the importance of facing the same obstacles as a close-knit family.


The Catcher in The Rye

It is a book that has a clear and recurring ideology: the authentic and the artificial. The kids in the book represent the age of innocence, whereas the adults represent the corruption in the world. It is about the conflict of both issues, and how you can overcome the bad by sticking with the good.


Remember The Titans

Racism is the most emphasized overtone in the movie. It’s about two high schools with different ethnicity that decided to join their students into the same football team. The lack of understanding between both cultures cause tensions and selective criticism to the opposite race. It’s really about coming together despite our differences and finding a common ground that can raise us to the top.


Dead Poet’s Society

This movie is not only inspirational, but it teaches us a valuable lesson about the signs and opportunities in life that we shouldn’t take for granted. By figuring out your true purpose in life, by loving yourself, by finding eternal satisfaction and by living life day by day without worrying about the future. Dead Poet’s Society teaches you not to live by what people expect of you, but rather what you expect of yourself.


The Green Mile

The main themes of the movie revolve around forgiveness, regret, remorse and healing. To be wrongly accused or blamed for something you did not do could be detrimental to someone’s psychological health. The story is about a man who had the heart to forgive the people who hurt him and accept his fate as it is.


The Giver

“When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong.” One of the most important themes in the movie is the importance of memory. Forgetting your memories means forgetting the things that made you suffer, that made you feel strength and pain. The Giver is about a community that erased its people’s past memories, and forcefully programmed them to act in a certain way in order to avoid conflicts and live in peace.