The Graduate
Essay title: The Graduate
Shot by Shot Assignment
The Graduate
Shot 1
Duration: 14seconds
Ben enters his room and is at ease finally. The music stops and the focus is on him. The room is well lit and his head is leaned against the white door, which gives the audience a sense of escape. As he makes his way toward the window, we see a dartboard next to his bedroom door that has not one of the darts on the correct target. One has even found itself on the wall. Over his bed we see pictures of planes and toy planes pointed in every direction as maybe parallel to his life. The camera holds a medium close-up as Ben looks down through his window after he takes a hesitant walk over to that position.

He feels that himself in his room with nobody else around ensures him isolation that he is yearning for. However, the un-aimed darts contradicts the room’s solidity and assurance. Just as his life as we later see the dart board is just as disorganized as Ben.

Shot 2
Duration: 3 seconds
Ben looks down through the window. The camera shows the back of his head in the right foreground and the guests at the poolside in the left background. We see the shot in high angle. The guests are laughing, having drinks and seem to be enjoying themselves. Ben looks on as if the party was not in his favor.

The close-up of Ben looking out the window shows the viewer that he is searching for an escape out of the situation that is current in his house. He wants to be elsewhere but has no idea at the moment where exactly that elsewhere should be. He looks very disappointed and even hopeful at the same time to disappear to another location as if by magic.

Shot 3
Duration: 7seconds
Ben walks from his window to the bed. His journey there is slow and seldom. His bed is gray and black as he showcases not only the toy airplanes above his bed but also pictures of airplanes pointed in different locations. There is not really a burst of color in his room beside those protruding inside of the fish tank. The view is very blatant and not at all flamboyant.

He has no sense of direction or happiness in his room. Even though he originally wanted to be alone, he finds himself now too lonely. He attempts to find some form of movement within his confinement when he is drawn to sit near the fish tank.

Shot 4
Duration: 12 seconds
Ben stares deeply into the fish tank. The fish tank is in the foreground of the shot and Ben’s face is in the right background transparently showing. As he looks into the fish tank we see multi-colored fishes, corals and other decorations that occupy the water. At he end of the shot Ben’s door is opened and we see Mrs. Robinson in the doorway.

The fishes in the fish tank display color, movement and ultimately freedom. Ben looks on as if he is craves to have this too in his own life. The lighting becomes immense and he is therefore hopeful.

Overall Meaning:
Ben escapes the swarm of family and friends. He feels very overwhelmed and confined downstairs. His bedroom serves as his time and place for isolation. This shows that the parents are not really concerned about his feelings or opinions. Ben does not share the same opinions about his future as his parents have in mind. He is basically showcased as a scholar than a regular human being with a desire for acceptance.


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Fish Tank And Close-Up Of Ben. (April 20, 2021). Retrieved from