Stereotypes In The Graduate

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While choosing a film for this assignment I came across Mike Nichols’s 1967 film The Graduate. The 1960s were a time of social rebellion and dissonance, as a younger generation approaching in a time of war and unrest, called into question the values of their parents or authority figures. The narrative focuses on the character of Benjamin Braddock, a 20-year-old young man, who recently graduated from college who is both unwilling and unsure of how to find a distinct future for himself. Trapped between the expectations of his parents and the adult world in general and his own vague desires, Benjamin embarks on a series of misadventures that evolve into an attempt to define himself, free from the chains of the older generation. In analyzing this…show more content…
His overbearing parents treat him as though he is their own personal toy, by parading him around all of their friends and neighbors at a party celebrating his college graduation. Significantly, at the party thrown for him, none of his own friends or anyone his own age were invited. This leaves us to believe as if all of the accolades and high grades he received at school, mentioned by a woman narrating part of this scene, were done so with the sole purpose of advertising their own success as parents. As he descends down the stairs, hordes of adults attack him from every angle, congratulating him, squeezing against him and bombarding him with questions. Throughout the entire scene, Benjamin attempts to escape and breathe fresh air, but even when he arrives at the front door, more people push him back inside; he is finally forced to retreat to his bedroom. Here he is isolated and attempting to flee from the adults who consistently instigate the conversations about his future. Rather than face reality, he retreats to his bedroom, mesmerized by the fish tank, wishing he could disappear. Watching the film back a second time, the conversation Benjamin has with Mrs. Robinson about the fear of being left alone in her house, especially stands out to the audience. Here we are introduced to diminutive signs of conflicting viewpoints. She represents the older generation and he the new generation and how the two cannot

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