Recently discharged from the Army, and with no immediate plans for his future, college dropout Neil Klugman has moved into his Aunt Gladys' Bronx apartment and taken a job in the local library. Having been invited by his cousin Doris to spend a day at the country club to which she belongs, Neil is attracted to a vacationing Radcliffe student, Brenda Patimkin, the daughter of a nouveau riche Jewish businessman. Despite his disdain for Brenda's affluent Westchester County way of life, Neil determinedly starts dating her. Mrs. Patimkin becomes concerned about Neil's lack of ambition and concludes that he is unworthy of her daughter, but Mr. Patimkin assures his wife that Brenda will soon tire of the romance. Instead, as her summer vacation nears its end, Brenda invites Neil to spend his 2-week vacation at her home, and each night when the rest of the family is asleep Neil and Brenda make love in her room. Neil discovers that Brenda is not taking birth control pills because they make her sick, and he insists that she get fitted for a diaphragm. On the night before Brenda's return to school, her brother Ron marries his girl friend, whom he met while he was an Ohio State basketball star in Columbus. At the lavish wedding reception, a somewhat inebriated Mr. Patimkin tells Brenda how much he loves her and how much faith he has in her strong moral convictions. Once back at Radcliffe, Brenda writes to Neil and asks him to join her in Boston for a long weekend. In the sleazy hotel room where they check in as husband and wife, Brenda tells Neil that her mother found the diaphragm in her room, shows him reproachful letters from her parents, and tells him that she can't invite him to her home again. Concluding that Brenda's guilt feelings about their affair subconsciously led her to leave the diaphragm where her mother would inevitably find it, Neil accuses Brenda of posing as someone intellectually and morally free while, in reality, she is essentially the model Jewish daughter her parents want. Disillusioned, and with nothing left to say, Neil picks up his suitcase and walks out into the street.