3 'The Graduate' Quotes That Embrace Carpe Diem

by Alyse Whitney

With the passing of award-winning director Mike Nichols, the best moments and memorable quotes from his many movies are on everyone's minds. One of his most famous films was 1967's The Graduate, which won Nichols an Academy Award for Best Director and gave star Dustin Hoffman a nomination. Although the central storyline about Mrs. Robinson seducing 20-year-old Benjamin as he tries to win over her daughter, Elaine, lends itself to more shocking than inspiring dialogue, there is a message woven throughout the film that everyone should embrace: carpe diem. With Ben's uncertain future after graduating college, he had the opportunity to be spontaneous as he figured out his life.

Most instances of him "seizing the day" are actions instead of words, but as he slowly becomes less worried and focused on the future and more concerned with his current state of affairs (pun intended) is reflected in his interactions with everyone. Although I could sit here all day and highlight the overall best quotes from "plastics" to "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me," I will just dive into the three that embrace carpe diem the best. Because despite all of his problems, there's no denying that Ben understood what it meant to seize the day.

On being spontaneous and not making big plans

"I think you ought to be taking it a little easier right now than you seem to be. Sow a few wild oats, take things as they come, have a good time with the girls and so forth. You have yourself a few flings this summer. I'll bet you're, you're quite a ladies man... you look to me like the kind of guy who has to fight 'em off." — Mr. Robinson

On just living comfortably in the moment

"Well, I would say that I'm just drifting. Here in the pool ... well, it's very comfortable to just drift here." — Benjamin

On not playing by the rules

"It's like I was playing some kind of game, but the rules don't make any sense to me. They're being made up by all the wrong people. I mean no one makes them up. They seem to make themselves up." — Benjamin

Images: Embassy Pictures (4)