The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button By F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, narrates a man who is born old and ages backwards. The story focuses on the way age dictates aspects of identity. The story’s intent is to allow audiences to realize how many years it takes before they are in a position of realizing who they are. The author does not stop at where physical appearance is greatly concerned. Having been born old, Benjamin had the face and body of an old person. However, this was accompanied with the emotions and mind of old age (Fitzgerald, 2008). Even though he is clearly a newborn, he enjoys the adverse company of old people. Later, he gets physically younger, his personality alters accordingly as he becomes rather vivacious and social. At this point, Benjamin Button provides a powerful statement that age is not just a number, after all.

The author explores the reversal of the aging process in through providing illustrations of the way societies perceive age and youth. When Hildegarde Moncrief falls for Benjamin, it is clear that he is overwhelmed and feels the connection on both physical and chemical levels. However, as she ages, he becomes certainly bored of her and depressed by the view of her gray hair as well as her formally enamel-blue eyes. On the other hand, she seems to believe that he needs to be in a position of controlling his advancing youth, which the author presents, as futile as taking control of her advancing age (Dobie, 2011). Benjamin is seen at his most ridiculous state as he tries to shun away his natural development processes. Fitzgerald surely makes a point about the lengths of absurdity that people go through to conceal their natural development.

One of the notable omissions from this story is the diverse reactions from Benjamin’s mother in relation to the birth as well as the growth of her son. This will serve as a suggestion that Fitzgerald was not expressly interested in the exploration of the full implications of such his magic-realist scenarios. Rather, it would be aimed at the intent of exploring the relationships between sons and fathers in times that there is an age difference (Bressler, 2003). Benjamin’s condition serves as a trial to all people, and he is repeatedly criticized for the impact his unusual state bears on others. First, the nurse and the doctor term his birth as troublesome, damaging and embarrassing to their reputation as there lacks compassion for the mother or child.

Benjamin’s personality is a critical sense of wonder for readers (Eagleton, 2008). Being a man-child within a home for the elderly, he is able to listen to the breathing house. He savors the beginning of the day looking into the water as his father did. It is at this stage that Benjamin learns the art of letting go and not clinging to anyone (Bertens, 2001). He comprehends how the people he loves will leave his life and that this process details how a person truly means to another. Across the entire story, the character seeks to be himself through accepting the flaws as well as celebrating his strengths to be a human being. The audience learns that it is neither late nor early to be what one wants to be.


Bertens H., (2001) Literary Theory: The Basics. London: Routledge

Bressler C., (2003) Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. New York: Prentice Hall

Dobie A., (2011) Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism. New York: Cengage Learning

Eagleton T., (2008) Literary Theory: An Introduction. Minnesota: U of Minnesota Press

Fitzgerald., (2008) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. New York: Juniper Grove