film as literature the graduate analyze the film and identify the theme


The notes I took from my viewing are attached below. I have begun writing it and can send you what I have. I need to turn it in before 11:59PM tonight (12/16) so I am in a rather huge rush, but considering it is pretty straight forward it shouldn’t take long. I can offer a significant increase in tip if it is ready sooner rather than later.


Essay #4 – Film as Literature: The Graduate (1967)

15 percent

3 – 4 pages (about 1100 – 1400 words)


Your task is to analyze the film and demonstrate, through citing elements (direct quotes and/or description), how this analysis has led you to identify a particular theme (or particular themes).



Your thesis must appear at the very end of your introduction and adhere to the template we’ve been discussing this semester. Also consider including, in your introduction, a very brief overview of the film’s plot and central characters.


Use your essay’s body to cite specific examples from the film to illustrate your claims and support your central argument (thesis). The more details you use regarding characters’ names, actions, and personality traits, the better you can defend your central argument.


In your concluding paragraph, summarize your main points and restate your thesis.


Note that this is not meant to be a summary of the film. In fact, you should utilize plot summary only for identifying context (i.e., the particular scene you’re discussing). Assume your audience has watched and studied the movie.


For an in-depth set of guidelines, consult “The Literature Essay” (1918 – 1930) and “The Writing Process” (1938 – 50) You may also obtain the same information online at W.W. Norton Workshop (Links to an external site.).


Papers must be typed, double-spaced, use MLA format, one-inch margins all around, with left-justified text, 12-point Times New Roman font.


Since your only source is the film, you do not need to include a list of works cited. You should not use parenthetical citations when quoting lines from the movie.


The following list of questions are designed to stimulate your thinking. You may alter, expand on, or even disregard them. One caveat, though: your essay should not simply consist of a checklist of answers to these questions. Use them to guide you, especially if you’re not sure where to begin.

  • What theme(s) might we draw from the film?
  • What symbolism is at play here? The film, especially in the beginning, draws focus repeatedly to the fish tank. What is this recurring image’s significance?
  • The Braddocks’ friend Mr. McGuire tells Ben, “There’s a great future in plastics.” What various meanings might we infer from this statement?
  • What seem to be Mrs. Robinson’s and Benjamin’s primary motives for developing their relationship?
  • Several times we see Ben looking through glass. Identify these moments and consider what they might mean.
  • How would you describe the older adults’ interactions with Benjamin?
  • What do you think of Benjamin’s interactions with his parents?
  • Interpersonal communication (or lack of it) plays a central role in the film. How should we interpret the way Mrs. Robinson and Benjamin communicate?
  • How would you characterize Mr. Robinson’s relationship with his wife? Do they say anything that indicates they love (or even like) each other?
  • Why do you think Mrs. Robinson is so adamant about making Ben promise not to take Elaine out on a date?
  • Why does Benjamin seem to change his attitude toward Elaine?
  • Besides the obvious fact that Benjamin has just finished his degree, why do you think this film is called The Graduate?
  • What do light and darkness symbolize in the film?
  • Ben tells Elaine, “It’s like I was playing some kind of game, but the rules don’t make any sense to me. They’re being made up by all the wrong people. I mean no one makes them up. They seem to make themselves up.” What do you think he means?
  • How are the movie’s two major settings, Los Angeles and Berkeley, different? How do these differences contribute to the film’s theme(s)? What other binary opposites can you identify?