Consider the following approaches for your paper. You are welcome to compare films
or just write about The Graduate. Feel free to mix & match or develop a topic of your
1. Do The Graduate & your film choice share similar Coming of Age (COA)
approaches, themes or elements? How do the main characters grow throughout
each film? What lessons must they learn & what behavior do they have to
change in order to reach maturity? Use course slideshows (See “Lecture Slides”
button in left-hand panel in Bb) to deepen your analysis. Be sure to discuss how
each film employs specific shots, scenes, & editing transitions to convey COA
2. Discuss Ben’s sense of alienation & how he undergoes the THREE stages of the
COA film: Setup, Growth, & Maturity. Use the course slideshows in Bb “Lecture
Slides” to deepen your analysis. Be sure to discuss how Mike Nichols employs
specific shots, scenes, & editing transitions to convey Ben’s alienation.
3. Discuss the portrayal of adults in The Graduate. Does Ben overcome the
problems, hypocrisy, & limitations of the adult world? How? Does The Graduate
provide ANY good role models? Is The Graduate a “coming of age” for the
adults as well? Be sure to discuss specific shots, scenes, & editing transitions to
convey COA themes.
4. Music is key to mood & tone in The Graduate. In Chapter 5 of Understanding
Movies, Louis Giannetti suggests that music can influence/emphasize six
elements of a film. Discuss how the soundtrack, music, & lyrics help contribute to
the following elements in The Graduate: Mood, Locale, Foreshadowing,
Contrast, Characterization, & Dialogue.