The Graduate Movie Symbolism

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The feelings that a person experiences after graduating from college is a big topic in Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate”. The movie demonstrates how most people that graduate from a college, find themselves in an emptiness and doubtfulness regarding their lives due to the pressure of becoming an adult. There are many symbolism throughout the movie that demonstrate how an American young adult deals with the stress that is put up on him by the society. The pressure that Benjamin is exposed to after graduating from college manifested itself as the relationship he had with Mrs. Robinson. In all his interactions with Mrs. Robinson, we can see how submissive and indecisive Benjamin is. Benjamin just allows Mrs. Robinson to take charge of their relationship, and this evolves into something that allows him to get a little break from all the post-graduation anxiety he is experiencing. An interesting symbolism regarding this controlling and dominating nature of Mrs. Robinson can be interpreted from her attires, as she is mostly seen wearing furs of animals that are considered predatory, such as a leopard or a cheetah. One of the biggest symbolisms in the movie is the fish tank in Benjamin’s room. In the first scene in…show more content…
In many ways Benjamin can be associated with the little ornament in his fish tank, which is coincidentally wearing a frogman suit similar to Benjamin was bearing during the barbeque. Just like the little figure in Benjamin’s fish tank, Benjamin himself is living in a pretty looking prison, created by people around him, and again like the way that figure is tied down to the bubbler, he is pushed into the pool by his parents. In the scene which Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson interact for the first time, Mrs. Robinson throws the key in the fish tank, which is a foreshadowing of the fact that, Mrs. Robinson will be a new and unusual experience in Benjamin’s

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