When this story begins, Chance is an unimportant gardener in a big house. He has been living his whole life in this house, and has been working his whole life for The Old Man.
But now, The Old Man is dead. A Lawyer comes to handle the house. He meets Chance and find out that Chance hasn’t got any record. Not even a real name (just Chance) or a paycheck. He never has paid tax. Chance isn’t a human being. He never had seen other people than The Old Man and the maid. He can’t read or write. The only thing he does is work in the garden and watch TV.
The lawyer tells Chance that he has to go away. In the early morning he takes his suitcase and leaves the house. He walks over the street, but a car hits him. He crushes his leg, and the woman in the car takes him to her house. She wants him to stay there, because she heard his lonely story.
Chance (the woman, EE, gives him a real name: “Chauncey Gardener”) meets her husband, an important Financial worker of the President. Mr. Rand is very charmed of Chauncey and wants him to meet the president. The president is very charmed too, because Chauncey knows the right words for the Financial depression of America. Chauncey knows nothing about the economy, but compares it to a garden.
In the fall and winter the garden is leafless and empty, but in spring and summer the garden will be well when the roots aren’t severed.
Chauncey becomes famous, because the president tells about him in all his meetings and discussions. Chauncey has to do TV and interviews, meets important people and becomes a hero of the American media.
But he doesn’t understand what happens, because he can’t read or write and he doesn’t know what economy really is. It doesn’t matter, everybody loves him.
But, when the American president wants to know who Chauncey really is, he can’t find something about him. Not his age, his parents, his former job or his study. For that reason the president wants Chauncey to work for him. Because he hasn’t a background. The other workers aren’t good because they have a background, too much background with troubles. And Chauncey? He doesn’t understand. If he can go to a garden now and then, everything is good and he is happy.