Re: "The Sounds of Silence" - input/reactions

James P Castonguay (
Sat, 20 Apr 1996 23:34:10 -0400

Michael Bozzo wrote:
>Hello out there!
> My name is Mike, and I am doing a paper for my seminar on the
>1960's. I would appreciate any help you can give me.
> My topic is the Simon and Garfunkel song "The Sound of Silence",
>and its effect on the movie "The Graduate", starring Dustin Hoffman
>and Anne Bancroft. I'm trying to develop a very literal
>interpretaion of the song, in an effort to discover its larger
>meaning. I'd be interested to know any personal interpretations or
>theories that are floating around out there. Please tell me your
>reactions and thoughts on the song and, if you feel like it, the
>movie. Also, tell me your thoughts on the relevance and/or
>importance of the song in the movie. Any help is much
>appreciated!!!!! Thanks!
> Michael Bozzo

I appreaciate your enthusiasm, but your post begins by saying that
you are trying to develop a "very literal
interpretation of the song, in an effort to discover its larger meaning."
I don't understand what you are asking us to do--develop a "very literal"
collective and subjective meaning(s) of the film and/or song?
You ask for personal takes on the song, the film,
etc. which sounds like you want us to write your paper for you. And to
frame the question in terms of asking what the effect of the song is on the
film belies the fact that soundrack and image and narrative, etc. work in

Anyway, I've taught _The Graduate_ before and, not surprisingly, discussions
suggest that the film and the song have a myriad of
meanings--as all texts do--never mind the postmodern recycling of the final
sequence of _The Graduate_ in _Wayne's World_. Come to think of it, why
don't you just start there . . . Jim C.