The Graduate

I recently read The Graduate by Charles Webb.  It was a fun and easy read; here is a potted version:

Benjamin came home from college and was fed up.  Mrs Robinson offered him her body.  He refused, cleared his throat and put his hands deep in his pockets.

Later, he was bored and middle class suburban life held no excitement so he arranged to meet Mrs Robinson in a hotel, where they started an affair.

One day during the affair, Benjamin decided they should talk.  He cleared his throat.

 – Mrs Robinson, we should talk

 – We should talk?

 – I really think we should, Mrs Robinson

 – Benjamin?

 – What

 – What shall we talk about?

 – What?

 – Get into bed, Benjamin

Later, Ben tried again to talk to Mrs Robinson.  She told him a little about her day, about her unhappy marriage and made him promise to never take out her daughter, Elaine.

A few days later, Benjamin invited Elaine out.  He took her to Hollywood, to a strip joint where he watched the stripper until Elaine cried, then he took her outside.  He put his hands deep into his pockets and cleared his throat.

 – Elaine

 – Please take me home, Benjamin

 – Elaine, I am not really like this

 – OK Benjamin, but I want to go home

 – But do you believe me, Elaine?

 – Benjamin?

 – Yes?

 – I believe you Benjamin, but now please take me home

 – But I love you

 – What?

 – Elaine, I love you

He took her home, mooned round his house for a while.  Then, with his hands deep in his pockets, Benjamin decided he would marry Elaine.  He cleared his throat and told his parents.

Benjamin drove to Berkeley, where Elaine was studying.  He sold his car and took a room.  After a couple of weeks of avoiding Elaine, he eventually found her.  They talked. They agreed maybe they should get married.

By this time the whole Mrs Robinson / Benjamin story had broken.  Elaine received a letter from Mr Robinson telling her that Mr and Mrs Robinson were getting divorced, that she should not have anything to do with Benjamin and that Mr Robinson would drive up in Berkeley to save her from him.

Benjamin tried to find Elaine but she was gone.  Luckily, he happened upon a note pinned to a door that described the time and place of Elaine’s marriage to a boy who was not Benjamin.  Benjamin flew to Santa Barbara just as the wedding band struck up.  He ran to Elaine, took her hand in one hand and her wedding train in the other and they ran out and onto a bus.

 – Benjamin?

 – What

The bus began to move.


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