The Graduate Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Graduate

Benjamin Braddock, main character in The Graduate, returns home to California right after finishing a teaching degree at an eastern college. He's immediately unhappy and feels that his education was a waste of time. His parents throw a graduation party for him, but he does not feel like attending it. During the party, the wife of Benjamin's father's business partner, Mrs. Robinson, comes into Benjamin's room and requests a ride home. Benjamin takes her home, where she tries to seduce him; he thwarts her advances but gives in several weeks later and they begin having an affair. During the affair, Mr. Robinson asks Benjamin to take out their daughter, Elaine. He manages to avoid doing so at first, but eventually takes her out and is enamored with her. She asks him not to bother her but Benjamin follows her back to her college and move into a rooming house. He proposes to Elaine, who finds out about his affair with her mother and is upset. When Mr.Robinson finds out about the affair and that Benjamin wants to marry Elaine, he removes Elaine from college. Benjamin eventually finds out that Elaine is planning to marry another suitor and he goes to the wedding.
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Best part of story, including ending: I did not like the emotional investment the characters had with each other with so little interaction.

Best scene in story: My favorite scenes were when Benjamin went to look for Elaine at the college, having no idea where she was. I loved the idea that he would spend so much time trying to find her.

Opinion about the main character: I dislike that Benjamin is so unconcerned about his actions. This is a fairly common trait in characters today, but it was really revolutionary at the time the book came out. I dislike his ability to feel so connected to Elaine with very little bonding during the book.

The review of this Book prepared by Meagan Lawson a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Graduate

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Lover is    -   much younger/older Unmarried Love Triangle?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West    -   Northeast Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Charles Webb Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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