Rica Angela G. CanlasAugust 6, 2011 4AAC BENE2 Reaction Paper: The Emperor’s Club There are things we circumvent for the belief that it would be for the better, making our morality, values and virtues compromised inadvertently, but at the end of the day we end up regretting because consequences of our past decisions are not what they supposed to be or they turn out to be the opposite of what is expected.
The Emperor’s Club is the sad story of a man who has lived his life to expect certain virtues in the characters of men of power, as displayed by the great rulers and thinkers of ancient Greece and Rome, only to discover that the tides have turned and such standards have all but disappeared. The Emperor’s Club is about the teacher, not the students. It’s also a pretty strong indictment of the educational and political system, specifically the idea that one’s standing in society is not about what you know but about who you know.
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Admittedly, none of this is new ground, but the film focuses on its central character’s discovery of these new virtues, making the whole thing seem fresh from our standpoint. This is a man who does not simply teach history; he lives according to it or at least it’s ideal, and believes it says something about a timeless human potential. William Hundert , a Classics professor and the assistant headmaster of St. Benedict’s. The students are not only here to be educated but also to be molded and to develop strong character.
The fall session of is running smoothly until the arrival of a young rascall named Sedgewick Bell , the son of a prominent West Virginia senator. He obviously doesn’t want to be at St. Benedict’s, and as a result, his rebellion attracts many other students who begin to join him in breaking school rule and undermining authority. Hundert sees potential in Bell and understands the frustration of having a cold, unreceptive, and busy father.
Hundert accepts Bell’s rebellious tendencies as a call for help and begins to take him under his wing. The school is very enthusiastic about the upcoming Mr. Julius Caesar competition, in which a series of essays determine the placement of three finalists who ultimately partake in a sudden death trivia contest. With a little encouragement, Hundert believes he can break through to the unrealized potential in Bell. Now at this point, we figure we have the ilm’s number, but it takes an unexpected turn that sets up something much more pressing. Hundert begins making concessions for Bell. There is a question in his academic objectivity and whether Bell’s progress is based on genuine improvement or the professor’s sympathy. The events in their isolated world implicate the much larger picture of our nation social standing. Here, the molders of future leaders are compromising their values, leading to more and more compromises until the whole thing becomes tainted.
The traditional thinking of the first and foremost significance of education is replaced with concerns for fundraising, as represented through fellow teacher James Ellerby. Now the pieces are in place for two thieves to remain in the palace and make their respective moves, and in a terrible twist of irony, both find themselves in prime position because of Hundert’s naivete concerning the moral character of others.
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