Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Grotesque World of The Graduate

The Graduate is today presented as a two part dramatization on BBC Radio 4. Here is a passage from early on in the book that sets the tone for the monstrous turn of subsequent events:

‘Come here,’ Mr Braddock said. He took his arm and led him down the hall and into a bedroom. ‘Son?’ he said, closing the door and locking it. ‘Now what is it.’
    ‘I don’t know.’
    ‘Well something seems pretty wrong.’
     ‘Something is.’
     ‘Well what.’
      ‘I don’t know!’ Benjamin said. ‘But everything – everything is grotesque all of a sudden.’
      ‘Those people in there are grotesque. You’re grotesque.’
      ‘I’m grotesque. This house is grotesque. It’s just this feeling I have all of a sudden. And I don’t know why!’
      ‘Ben, it’s because you’re all tied up in knots.’


NOTES from Wikipedia

The Graduate is a 1963 novel by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams College. It tells the story of Benjamin Braddock, who, while pondering his future after his graduation, has an affair with the older Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father's business partner.

It was adapted into the highly successful 1967 movie The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols and with Dustin Hoffman in the title role. Webb has stated he never felt comfortable with the attention the movie brought him because he felt it distracted from his status as a serious artist. He did not receive any royalties from the film and has stated he is glad it happened that way.

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