The Graduate Essay

Submitted By Arsmith1981
Words: 612
Pages: 3

Anthony Smith
Lit. 231
The Graduate

Water, the world’s best solvent The 1967 film “The Graduate” undeniably contains many themes throughout its story line. The powerful themes it contains and clever filming style is still being referred to and talked about today, almost fifty years later. Director Mike Nichols displays his creative talent and knowledge of film by making true movie magic that ultimately led to his winning an Academy Award. Nichols clever mind is to thank for making “The Graduate” the box office smash that it was, launching Dustin Hoffman’s career at the same time. One of the most prominent themes found within this film is the use of water. As Dustin Hoffman’s character Benjamin changes, the way in which water is seen changes as well, becoming a character all its own. The first scene in which water makes a powerful statement is early on in the movie when Ben is finally home from college. He is sitting in his room relaxing and thinking about his unclear future. His controlling and smothering parents have thrown Ben a lavish graduation party he clearly wants nothing to do with. In the room is a large fish tank and at the bottom there is a little man dressed in scuba gear for decoration blowing bubbles. As we see Ben in this shot sitting in front of the tank, it looks as though his head is actually in the tank, alluding to how Ben is feeling. His parents are making him feel trapped and smothering him by inviting all of these people over to their home. One might say Ben can relate to the little man in the tank, by being made to feel the same way. During Bens summer break he spends a lot of time in the backyard making use of the pool. This is one of the more subtle uses of water in the film. It may seem that Ben is enjoying himself and relaxing but after a closer examination one might think differently. Much like his unclear future, Ben is simply going through the motions not knowing what he wants to do or where he might end up. This is represented by his floating around aimlessly on a raft. One of the most powerful scenes involving water also takes place at the pool. Once again