Question: 3. Compare and contrast the underlying themes in another youth/coming of age film from any period with the underlying themes in The Graduate.
Coming-of-age stories involve a main character's inner growth change. In the literature, these changes can be described by any narrator. However, in a film, it is not easy to portray an action of a character that is internal rather than external. Identify a scene that is viewed in a film showing the main characters internal change is through observation of his/her action. It, therefore follows that the list of themes flows through the coming-of-age story. Each category of theme includes activities and questions that can be applied to every story of this type such as film, novel, memoir, play and biography (Webb & William, 2012).
The Graduate (1967) is a major ground-breaking film during the late 1960s. The film helped to set in different motion; a new era of film-making. The file is an influential film and has a biting satire as well as comedy describing the recent nebbish. For example, East Coast college graduate student finds himself alienated. He got adrift in the shifting, sexual, social and mores of the 1960s question the values of society. The themes of the film mirrored the numerous changes that occur in Hollywood (Webb & William, 2012).
The similar theme that is present in both The Graduate and Coming-of-age is theme of innocence. Whereas the first film describes how a character such as Benjamin suffers because he is innocent, the film Coming-of-age describes the loss of innocence.
The following themes are present in the film The Graduate (1967).
Alienation: For instance, For instance, East Coast college graduate student is alienated and adrift in the shifting. Alienation is also shown by social and sexual mores of the year 1960s, and questioning different values of society (Webb & William, 2012).
Innocent: The theme of a confused and innocent youth, which is mis-directed, exploited and seduced both literally and figuratively. The youth is betrayed by a corrupt, discredited and decadent older generation (that finds its stability in "plastics") was well exploited by film. The captured the spirit of the times and audiences explains how theme of innocent is expanded throughout the film. For example, the film's posters proclaim the difficult coming-of-age for the aimless, recent college graduate: That is Benjamin. He is worried about his future.
Generation: There are two different generations reflecting dualities. For instance, there are two rival women described as young innocent and doe-eyed daughter Elaine and the other older seductress known as Mrs. Robinson. The other evidences of the theme of a different generation is the two main California settings that are Berkeley and Los Angeles and South and North California cultures that are materialistic and intellectual culture. Moreover, the division in Benjamin's character showing morally indecisive and drifting versus commitment shows theme of generation.
The following themes are represented in the film Coming-of-age: Themes of maturation, loss of innocence, acculturation, acumen, the acquisition of wisdom, or worldliness are present in the film. Maturity: The main character that shows the theme of maturity is Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, who undergoes a complete moral change upon having to make the last life defining decisions that are throughout his journey for change to a new life. Huck emerges in the film with great and an inferiority complex that was caused by living irresponsible father. He was abusive and drunkard father who had no direction. At that point, Huck is seen without concept of morality (Kiran & John, 2002). Moral conflict: There is a moral conflict in the film. For example, Sartoris has to select between blood (his father) and justice. He is in a situation where any possible outcome weighs heavy on his conscience as well as Abner. His father does not seem to have control over hatred for society.
Soni, Kiran, and John A. St. Coming of Age. Princeton: Films for the Sciences and Humanities,2005.
Webb, Charles R, and William Hope. The Graduate. Bath, England: Chivers Audio Books, 2012