Charles Richard Webb was born on June 9, 1939, in San Francisco, and grew up in Pasadena, Calif. His father, Dr. Richard Webb, was a coronary heart specialist, a part of a rich social circle just like the one Charles would skewer in “The Graduate.” (Charles described his relationship together with his father as “moderately unhealthy.”) His mom, Janet Farrington Webb, was, he stated, a socialite and an avid reader from whom he “was all the time on the lookout for crumbs of approval.” He stated “The Graduate” was an try and win her favor; it went decidedly unsuitable.
A youthful brother, Sidney Farrington Webb, turned a physician in Las Cruces, N.M.
Charles went to boarding faculty after which to Williams Faculty in Massachusetts, the place he earned a level in American historical past and literature in 1961. He stated his faculties had been “chosen” for him “on the idea of the way it appeared.” A mediocre pupil, he nonetheless managed to win a two-year writing fellowship, which he used to write down “The Graduate.”
Whereas at Williams, he met Ms. Rudd, a Bennington Faculty pupil. She was a former debutante from a household of lecturers with a bohemian streak — her brother was the avant-garde jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd — they usually each rejected the bourgeois worlds of their households. Their first date, they advised interviewers, was in a cemetery.
Their romance, and her mom’s disapproval of him, turned the idea for “The Graduate.” The inspiration for the character Mrs. Robinson, who seduces younger Benjamin, could have come from one in every of his mother and father’ associates, whom he by accident noticed bare.
Reviewing the ebook in The Instances, Orville Prescott known as it a “fictional failure” however favorably in contrast its protagonist to Holden Caulfield of “The Catcher within the Rye.”
With its mumbling ennui and conversations that don’t join, the novel captured the second simply earlier than the repressed Eisenhower period blossomed into the Technicolor 1960s. The characters should not idealistic; they’re groping for beliefs, their flight from their mother and father’ values and life extra solitary than collective. Within the final pages, Benjamin and Elaine are alone on a bus, shaken, heading right into a future that’s opaque to them. Whats up darkness, my previous good friend.