Charles Richard Webb was born in San Francisco on June 9, 1939 and grew up in Pasadena, California. His father, Dr. Richard Webb was a cardiac specialist who was part of a wealthy social circle, such as Charles in “The Graduate. “(Charles described his relationship with his father as” pretty bad. “) His mother, Janet Farrington Webb, was, he said, a celebrity and an avid reader, of whom he” was always looking for crumbs of appreciation. “He said “The Graduate” was an attempt to win her favor, and it definitely went wrong.
A younger brother, Sidney Farrington Webb, became a doctor in Las Cruces, N.M.
Charles attended boarding school and then Williams College, Massachusetts, where he graduated in American history and literature in 1961. He said his schools were “chosen” for him “because of their looks.” As a mediocre student, he nevertheless managed to win a two-year writing scholarship with which he wrote “The Graduate”.
During his time in Williams, he met Ms. Rudd, a student from Bennington College. She was a former debutante from a family of teachers with a bohemian touch – her brother was the avant-garde jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd – and both rejected the bourgeois worlds of their families. Their first date, they told the interviewers, was in a cemetery.
Her romance and her mother’s disapproval of him became the basis for “The Graduate”. The inspiration for the character Mrs. Robinson, who seduces young Benjamin, could come from a friend of his parents whom he accidentally saw naked.
Orville Prescott, who reviewed the book in The Times, called it a “fictional failure,” but compared its protagonists positively with Holden Caulfield of “The Catcher in the Rye.”
With its muttering boredom and conversations that have nothing to do with each other, the novel captured the moment just before the suppressed Eisenhower era blossomed in the Technicolor 1960s. The characters are not idealistic; They are looking for ideals, their escape from their parents’ values and lifestyles is more lonely than collective. On the last pages, Benjamin and Elaine sit alone in a shaken bus in a future that is opaque to them. Hello darkness my old friend.