Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate, sits perfectly still on his bed in the comfortable Southern California home of his parents, wearing a diving suit. His solitary contemplation is interrupted by his dad, Mr. Braddock, who asks why he isn’t coming downstairs to show off the diving suit, his graduation present, as he was asked. It is Benjamin’s graduation party, and he must come show his parent’s friends a little courtesy. Benjamin asks to be left alone, because he has things on his mind. They are joined by Benjamin’s mom, Mrs. Braddock, and by Mr. Robinson, Mr. Braddock’s business partner, who heartily congratulates Benjamin on his excellent scholastic record and advises him on his future with one word: “Plastics”. Mr. Robinson leaves for the airport, on a business trip, after advising the Braddocks to “pour” his wife into a cab when it’s time for her to go home. Benjamin refuses to join the party, again, declaring the guests to be ”grotesque”, and that his years in school have added up to nothing. His parents exit, annoyed and disturbed.
Benjamin begins to strip off his wetsuit, but is interrupted by Mrs. Robinson, tipsy but controlled, who has come looking for the spare room in which to lie down and rest. To Benjamin’s growing discomfort, she does not leave, and she asks him whether he is upset because of