The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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3 stars

“Full grown with a long, smoke-coloured beard, requiring the services of a cane and fonder of cigars than warm milk, Benjamin Button is a very curious baby indeed. And, as Benjamin becomes increasingly youthful with the passing years, his family wonders why he persists in the embarrassing folly of living in reverse”.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in 1922. F. Scott Fitzgerald is mostly known for his literary work “The Great Gatsby”. He belonged to the “Lost Generation”; authors of the 1920s, who experienced WW1 and the emptiness and lack of hopes that followed and haunted people and artists’ minds. In his publications of short stories, one of his main themes is the loss of youth when growing older and the feeling of despair which overtakes the soul of the individual.

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is the story of an old man, who during his life grows younger and younger. Life is reversed in an odd and quirky way, which is an interesting thought for the reader. When being born Benjamin Button possesses all of his life knowledge and it sadly disappears the older he gets. Benjamin Button is born in 1860 and during his reversed life; he goes to war, runs a business, gets married, has children, attends college, kindergarten and ends his life in the care of his nurse.

“The past–the wild charge at the head of his men up San Juan Hill; the first years of his marriage when he worked late into the summer dusk down in the busy city for young Hildegarde whom he loved; the days before that when he sat smoking far into the night in the gloomy old Button house on Monroe Street with his grandfather-all these had faded like unsubstantial dreams from his mind as though they had never been. He did not remember”.

It is a really interesting short story. I must say after reading “The Great Gatsby”, I felt that I needed to read more of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary works. He was a talented author and very unique in his way of writing. The story of Benjamin Button is odd, quirky but still amazingly told. Some say that it is written in a shallow way and that there are not enough details and insight knowledge of his thoughts, especially while going through all of these changes while growing (or the lack of it). In some ways I agree, but then again, it makes the story more mysterious and strange, so as a reader one has to think more about the story; things such as the different characters and the plot which the story revolves around. I have always found it very interesting if the story was not entirely presented to you. The only lack the story had was that I had wished it to be longer, because I enjoyed the reading of it, and when reaching the end, I only wanted more.

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