The headmaster of the prestigious Welton Academy, Nolan is a severe, strict man, who governs Welton with an iron fist and has boundless respect for the school’s tradition. Nolan hires John Keating following the retirement of another teacher. While he thinks highly of Keating at first, Nolan begins to doubt Keating’s unconventional methods, and after the suicide of Neil Perry, Nolan seemingly has no qualms about firing Keating to avoid a scandal at Welton.
Headmaster Gale Nolan Quotes in Dead Poets Society
The Dead Poets Society quotes below are all either spoken by Headmaster Gale Nolan or refer to Headmaster Gale Nolan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Hyperion edition of Dead Poets Society published in 2006.).
Headmaster Gale Nolan Character Timeline in Dead Poets Society
The timeline below shows where the character Headmaster Gale Nolan appears in Dead Poets Society. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...into the great hall, many of them accompanied by their parents, as the headmaster, Gale Nolan, prepares to speak. Four of the boys carry banners into the hall, labeled “Tradition,” “Honor,”... (full context)
...stiffly by his son. Todd Anderson, whose parents aren’t in attendance, stands alone until, unexpectedly, Nolan approaches him. Nolan tells Todd, “Your brother was one of our best.” Nolan moves on... (full context)
...the Dead Poets Society, a society none of the students have heard of before. Headmaster Nolan swings by the students and asks Neil how he’s enjoying Mr. Keating. Neil replies that... (full context)
...the courtyard. As the exercise goes on, everyone begins walking in synchronized rhythms. Meanwhile, Headmaster Nolan and Mr. McAllister watch from their windows, amazed. The point of the exercise, Keating says,... (full context)
...his face, and the other Dead Poets are exhausted and hung over. In the chapel, Nolan announces that there was a “profane article” in the school paper—he commands the “guilty persons”... (full context)
...Charlie, carrying a ringing phone. With exaggerated seriousness, he answers the phone, then says, “Mr. Nolan, it’s for you—it’s God. He said we should have girls at Welton.” Everyone laughs and... (full context)
...back in their dormitory, Meeks tells the Dead Poets that Cameron is talking to Headmaster Nolan right now—explaining everything about the Dead Poets Society. Charlie nods, realizing what’s going on—Welton needs... (full context)
...Neil’s death is almost complete. One by one, Dr. Hager marches the students into Headmaster Nolan’s office. Meeks comes back from his meeting with Nolan, crying. Outside Nolan’s office, he explains... (full context)
...sign the contract. But Todd refuses. Keating loves teaching, Todd insists—Todd won’t destroy Keating’s life. Nolan turns away, telling Todd’s parents, “Let him suffer the consequences.” Nolan warns Todd that if... (full context)
...read the essay. Suddenly, Todd jumps up and says, “They made everybody sign it!” As Nolan shouts for Todd to sit down, Keating replies, “I believe you, Todd.” Nolan orders Keating... (full context)