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Film Analysis Of "The Graduate"

2084 words - 9 pages

Film Analysis of “The Graduate”

The 1967 film by Mike Nicoles “The Graduate” is about Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate, who is at a crossroads in his life. He is caught between adolescence and adulthood searching for the meaning of his upper middle class suburban world of his parents. He then began a sexual relationship with the wife of his father’s business partner, Mrs. Robinson. Uncomfortable with his sexuality, Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson continue an affair during which she asked him to stay away from her daughter, Elaine. Things became complicated when Benjamin was pushed to go out with Elaine and he falls in love with her. Mrs. Robinson sabotaged the relationship and ...view middle of the document...

He is isolated from the social acceptance of the outside world and lives in a protected confinement of what his parents created for him and anything outside is unknown. In the beginning scene when his father enters the room, the camera continues to focus on Benjamin while his father’s image is blurred sitting in front of Benjamin and blocking most of his face. His mother later enters the room and stands in front of the camera completely obscuring Benjamin. These scenes shows that his parents are constantly getting in Benjamin’s way of his feelings and he cannot see past the image of his parent identity like he is destine to become them. Although he tells his father that he wants to be “different”, Benjamin does not have control of his own life. When Benjamin does not want to come down to see the guests and he “needs to be alone for a while” because he is ‘worried about his future’ his parent does not even care a bit and insist that he goes down stair because they are eager to show him to the guest. As he head toward the steps, there was portrait of a clown at the top of the stairs symbolizing that he is headed to a social circus as if he was in a costume putting on an act like they are show casing him for entertainment and no one takes him seriously.
As Benjamin transition out of adolescent, he constantly struggles with the decision regarding his future and to find the best way of becoming a man. Ironically, it is his relationship with Mrs. Robinson that helps Benjamin transformation into adulthood. In fact, Mrs. Robinson uses Benjamin as an object to satisfy her desire and he submits to this relationship only to save himself from symbolically drowning in the value of the materialistic culture he is in. Benjamin’s shallow character was illustrated when he takes Elaine out on a “date from hell”. He took her to a stripe club and was extremely rude to her to make Elaine uncomfortable hoping she would hate him. Instead if he did not want to date Elaine, he can just simply refuse his parent’s request to take her out. Clearly, Benjamin does not have the courage to disobey his parent’s demands and therefor allowing them to make decisions for him. His lack of confident is reflected from his alienation from society. He would rather spend all day floating in his parent’s pool than follows the adult’s advice about the future. He is unwilling to come to terms with where he is in life. He became sort of emotionless indicating a certain sense of confusion and disorder. In the scuba diving scene, Benjamin jumped into the pool. While trying to get above water, he was continually pushed back in by his father. He finally allowed him to sink down to the bottom as if he had surrendered to the fantasy world. As the image above water becomes faint, he is creating distance between himself and reality. He just sees the he is going deeper and deeper into something that he does not want to do.
As a young recent college graduate, Benjamin’s impression of the...

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