The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was first published in 1922.
Benjamin Button was born in the summer of 1860. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Button, were well off, socially and financially. They defied the custom of the day by having their first child in a hospital, rather that at home.
Benjamin Button’s birth caused the family physician to resign from their service, and nearly ruined the reputation of the hospital.
Benjamin Button was born a 70-year-old man. No one could explain it.
Although Benjamin looked, spoke, and acted like a 70-year-old man, his father insisted on treating him like a newborn baby. Benjamin wasn’t having it. He preferred the Encyclopedia Britannica to his stuffed animals.
Roger Button’s social status was nearly ruined. The only thing people could think of to complement this strange addition to the Button family was to say that he resembled his grandfather.
When he was twelve, Benjamin Button first began to suspect that he was, in fact, aging backward.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button follows the humorous misadventures of a man who becomes younger as his age increases. He’s mistaken for his father’s father, and then for his father’s brother. He causes scandal when he marries a woman his age, when he appears thirty years older than her. He causes further scandal when, decades later, he’s seen as a young man married to an older woman.
When he’s old enough to enter school, he’s too old to attend. When he’s too old to enter school, he’s the right age to attend.
When Benjamin Button becomes a baby, his life fades away.
The copy I borrowed from the library is 52 pages long. That seemed to be the right amount of pages for this story of one man’s life.
One thing I found odd about this story is the absence of Benjamin’s mother. She’s mentioned as Mrs. Roger Button, but we never meet her. We never learn how she feels about being the young mother of a 70-year-old man. We never even learn her name. Maybe it’s a sign of the times.
I liked The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It’s an hilarious, classic tale of social satire.
- A book that takes place over a character’s life span