The Graduate
Personal Lessons and Insights

March 8, 2003


Brief Plot Summary

A young man becomes a confident, responsible adult by learning to trust and act on his own judgment


Interesting Character

I found Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) to be an interesting character because he showed a great deal of growth over the course of the movie. At the beginning of the movie, Benjamin was unconfident and dependent on other's directions, frustrated by his inability to get a plan together for his life. Throughout the affair with Mrs Robinson he gained trust in his self, which gave him the ability to participate in social interactions as an equal, as well as giving him the confidence to decide what he was looking for in life. Once he was able to declare what it was that he truly wanted in life, he trusted in himself enough to start the journey after his desire without any real plan, improvising as he went along.


Interesting Scene

I thought the scene where Benjamin declares that he will marry Elaine, even though she disliked him at the time, to be interesting. A statement of that magnitude takes an impressive amount of determination, but to actually follow up on your declaration against the nearly insurmountable odds that he faced is downright heroic. No matter what got thrown at him, he wouldn't give up on marrying her. He tracked her down at school and followed her around, not taking heed of her irritated reactions. The scene where he manages to track down the church her wedding is being held at it particularly powerful, demanding an amount of determination that I doubt very much I could muster. When something is important enough however, people have a way of devoting themselves wholly to it, and that can easily mean the difference between success and failure.


Something this film made me think about.

I was intrigued by the disregard Ben and Elaine had for her parent's opinions of their getting together. The view provided in this movie was contrast to that in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", where the interracial couple demanded acceptance by both families before the marriage, because they felt to do otherwise would be to doom their partnership. I personally agree more so with the in-law ideology presented in "The Graduate", that the couple's love is more than enough to compensate for difficult families. Whatever the families feel, it is up to the couple to decide what is best for them, and the family will either learn to agree and cherish their new member, or they won't. "The Graduate" shows a family that will never accept the new couple, and although it is unfortunate that they cannot take part in Ben and Elaine's joy, that was their own choice to make.

Original Web Upload March 2003
Last Update: March 8, 2003