Mrs. Robinson

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“Benjamin, you will never be young again, sew a few oats while you can.” (Mr. Robinson) The Graduate, a coming of age film that hardly can be considered traditional, but at the same time relates to every being that has experienced puberty, thus, finding manhood or womanhood. Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson are the main characters designed for the audience, both young and old, and facing this ever revolving passion to be one or the other. The trials and tribulation takes the viewer on a journey through a failing marriage, a taboo affair, and ultimately a search for the meaning of self. The film is set in the late 1950’s and one of the key components is conformity; we find the young man who has conformed since birth will journey to nonconformity of adulthood. Mrs. Robinson, dynamic character and manipulative alcoholic is defined only by her marriage and conformity. Ben creates an altering reality for Mrs. Robinson allowing for her to feel youth through this forbidden affair. The structure of this film has overwhelming symbolism between water and maturity; water represents all that is unknown. The scene that provides the best evidence of an evolving man begins with an unknowing father urging an immature Ben into manhood. The audience finds Ben dressed in scuba gear walking slowly to the pools edge, only to find hesitation, until the final plunge. As Ben emerges we find him floating upon the water; no longer nervous, no longer a virgin, but completely evolved. All innocence is lost. At the same time we find Mrs. Robinson enlightened and playful; her character is altered. Her affair represents human nature a yearning to be desired and loved. The film’s purpose provides assurance to the audience of the innate creatures we are. It is through the above scene we build a personal relationship with Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson. Together the characters personify our own individual struggle with maturity and sexuality causing the audience to form an intimate...
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