The Graduate-Film Analysis

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Mike Nichols’, The Graduate, produced in 1967 is based on a young college graduate who is unsure about his future. Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has recently graduated college, with his parents now expecting great things from him. At his "homecoming" party, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), the wife of his father's business partner, has Ben drive her home, which leads to an affair between the two. The affair eventually ends, but comes back to haunt him when he finds himself falling for Elaine (Katharine Ross), Mrs. Robinson's daughter. At the beginning of The Graduate Ben is frantically searching for his independence and a way to make his future different. During the middle of the film, Ben begins to search for himself and his future; but he gets caught up in “love and war” with Elaine and Mrs. Robinson. At the end of the film Ben finds independence but finds himself in the middle of a new difficult situation with the Robinson family.

The Graduate’s, Ben Braddock is searching for what lies ahead in his future and how to make it different from his parent’s. By trying to find his future Ben only manages to make it even worse by getting sexually involved with Mrs. Robinson. When asked what he is going to do with his life, he simply replies that he doesn’t know but he wants it to be different. Ben is sent down a perplexing path of confusion and he tries a few outlets to help him find the answer to his future. Aside from Ben searching for his future, he is also seeking independence. Ben discovers that only he can break the cycle his parents have created over the entirety of his life.

Ben faces a divide with Elaine and Mrs. Robinson. The two different generations are reflected in other dualities: the two rival women. The two are dipicted as the young innocent doe-eyed daughter Elaine and the older seductress Mrs. Robinson. The two California settings of Los Angeles and Berkeley and S. and N. California cultures of materialistic vs. intellectual show the cultural...
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