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Frampton !


Jannick Frampton

Professor Victoria Large

Reading the Lost Generation

26 October 2017

Reading Reflection: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Although I was familiar with the premise of the story beforehand, nothing could have

prepared me for the wild ride that F. Scott Fitzgerald created with this enrapturing short story

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. One of the incredible things about the work is that even

though the idea behind the story is absurd and unrealistic, the characters and their reactions to the

life of Mr. Benjamin Button seem rooted in reality and thus, once you suspend your disbelief as a

reader, the story is believable and engaging. Further, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses a clever

combination of both telling and showing important details about the circumstances as time

moves forward in the story. Because of the use of well formed characters and a balance of telling

and showing, F. Scott Fitzegerald’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button strongly conveys a

theme of accepting the uncontrollable aspects of life, no matter how bizarre.

One of the reasons the characters are believable is because they are consistent in their

reactions and responses to things — it truly feels like these are people with their own emotions,

experiences, and ultimately, their own lives. This can be seen clearly in Roger Button’s resilience

in choosing to believe that his son Benjamin is a normal child; that said, it does feel at times that

Roger knows deep inside that Benjamin’s case is truly quite curious. This can be seen clearly on

page 5:

This pattern of thought and action is repeated again throughout the text.” he said. While his first year was a bountiful success. In one exchange. At first.” This was not true — it was all part of Roger Button’s silent agreement with himself to believe in his son’s normality. Frampton !2 “But Mr. Benjamin looks around fifty-five years of age. Surely. he declared that if Benjamin didn’t like warm milk. “that I’m big for my age” “…Oh I’m not so sure of that. “But you have to admit. and even oatmeal as a way of compromise. Benjamin waited decades before he actually went to university (Harvard. the classes are near impossible at . Another important aspect of the short story is acceptance of the bizarre facts of life. It is through moments like these that F.” he said finally.” At this point in the story. Fourteen is the age for putting on long trousers — and you are only twelve”. claiming that he is “too young”: “”Well. and a baby he should remain. This idea is seen most clearly in the development of Benjamin Button’s mindset about his curious case. Button persisted in his unwavering purpose. “I was as big as you when I was twelve. “I don’t know. he could go without food altogether. which his father argues against. Benjamin was a baby. Benjamin asks his father for a suit of long trousers. However. in exactly the same manner as before. we observe both Roger Button’s refusal to accept the truth about his son and his reluctant comprise with the bread and butter and the oatmeal. but he was finally prevailed upon to allow his son bread and butter. he chooses to believe that Benjamin is a normal boy. After his incident at Yale.” protested Benjamin. Roger did not look like a fifty-five year old at the age of twelve. helping to drive home the theme. no less). Scott Fitzgerald’s strong characterization shines through.” In this excerpt.

2009. a prep school. and an unfortunate return to the military. Works Cited Fitzgerald.. as Benjamin is mentally a young child. This story was thoroughly enjoyable. After a rough time at home with his son. though I can see how some might interpret this and the rest of the story as simply obedience. He decides that maybe he school enroll in St. Digital Publ. F. Scott Fitzgerald builds a strong. we learn that Benjamin is a child and enrolled in school with his grandson. F Scott. . and this is clearly captured in the ending of the story. mortality. This fact only becomes clearer as the story draws to an end and Benjamin Button loses more and more control of his own faculties. However. I see this as acceptance. believable reality through strong characterization and is able to convey an impactful theme of acceptance and in a sense. Midas’. Frampton !3 by the time he reaches senior year. and thus has little to no control of the circumstances he is put in. The curious case of Benjamin Button. I still feel as though there is a sense of acceptance as Benjamin fades away into nothingness.