There are many different elements used in The Graduate that create meaning and generate response to the audience, some of these include editing, mise-en-scene and sound. I have chosen to concentrate on the scene in Mrs Robinson's house, where Mrs. Robinson tries to seduce Benjamin for the first time.
Editing in this scene is an important part of creating meaning for the rest of the film. The use of straight cuts and jumps shots in this scene both add to the style of editing. Straight cuts are used to show what is going through Benjamins" mind, they are steady up until he sees Mrs. Robinson naked, because he is not used to seeing naked women, the eventual jump cuts start to draw the audiences attention to Mrs. Robinson very quickly. The speed then changes from a steady speed to a faster pace of editing. This again represents what is going through Ben's mind, for example, seeing Mrs. Robinson naked. He doesn't know where to look, and he panics, and the jump cuts show this.
The mise-en-scene is another important part of making meaning in the scene I have chosen. The Robinson's house is large in size. The makers have used high key lighting in the rooms to show this. There is an extensive use of green, mainly from the plants, in the bar area and outside. The bar is used to separate Mrs. Robinson from Benjamin. This is also reminiscent of the legal drinking age in America, the fact that Mrs. Robinson is older than he is, and the significance of Mrs. Robinson giving him the glass of whiskey, and insisting he drinks it. The use of cigarettes by Mrs Robinson also have a strong significance, this draws attention to her mouth and lips. .
Ben is wearing a black suit and a cream and black tie, he keeps his whiskey glass close, this shows that he just wants to be left alone. He also keeps things to himself whilst Mrs. Robinson is wearing a small black dress, her hair is up, she is wearing heavy make up, the black mascara and eyeliner, which defines her eyes.