Mr. Keating emphasizes the real-world applicability of words, language, and poetry. He encourages his students to contemplate their life's purpose. The human race is full of passion- poetry, beauty, romance and life: the things people stay alive for. "The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"
As Captain Nathan Algren works more closely with his new army, he learns about the values of the Japanese feudal system which include hard work and discipline.
"From the moment they wake up, they devote themselves to whatever they pursue."