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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Essay Example

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I was very excited when I found out that our reading response for this class was to be based on the story “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. I thought to myself, “Great, I can watch the Brad Pitt movie!” and watch it I did only to find out later on that it had nothing to do with the novel of the same title by F. Scott Fitzgerald…
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
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Download file to see previous pages Scott Fitzgerald. That was when I took the time to read all the 18 pages of the short story, walking away from it in awe of the imagination of the writer and feeling robbed by the way the movie of Brad Pitt disrespected the original. The novel itself was quite interesting because it took place in an era of America that paid all too much attention to the social status of a family in the community. As with the Buttons family in the story, the image of a financially well-to-do family in the community is always coupled with an upstanding name that is cared for over generations. But that was not to be the case with Benjamin. His family became the object of ridicule for many years due to the circumstances of his birth and yet they managed to endure as a familial unit. The character of Benjamin is one whose origin story is quite complex and, in my opinion, lacking in character development and backstory. That is because even though we were introduced to Benjamin as a newborn old man, we never found out how such things could occur. If there was no scientific explanation for it as mentioned in the story, perhaps a backstory of a cursed birth or something would have helped. I just found it important as a reader to understand how such a pitiful life could have been bestowed upon an innocent child by the forces of the universe. Surely Benjamin's parents must have done something terribly evil to incur the anger of the gods thus being bestowed with a cursed child right? But I guess F. Scott Fitzgerald did not want to bother or perhaps bore the readers with such backstories. Which is why he also had a tendency to gloss over decades of Benjamin's life for no reason. His glossing over the life of the man-child and not paying attention to greater details of his development leaves one wondering as to why he became the sort of man that he did. It is almost like reading the life of Jesus with the missing 20 years. It just did not make any sense to me. That said, I would have to say that the story still managed to retain the interest of the reader in such a manner that these oversights could easily be forgiven. It did not remove from the enthralling tale of the life of an old man destined to die as a new born at all. It puzzled me though that the mother in the story was never mentioned as I am sure that Benjamin needed to have been born of natural means. So why was the mother not mentioned at all in the story? Did she die during childbirth? Was she driven mad by the sight of the newborn son being old enough to sit on her lap and then some? I imagined the birth would have been horribly painful for her and traumatizing and yet it was never even touched upon in the telling of the early life of Benjamin. Rather there was a concentration on the relationship of the boy and his father who did not accept him for who he was when he was born. The cruelty of a parent during that era of history seems so much that he actually wished his son were born a negro so he could have left him at the slave market. That part of the novel I remember reading and thinking, “ What a cruel father he is to want to give away his child under the worst circumstances. He would have probably killed the child if he could have.” After reading the book another time though, I began to get the humor in the writing of Fitzgerald. In fact, one might say that the book was written tongue in cheek since the events has he related them could never take place in real life. Yet as a short story, the concept actually made sense. I mean, if it did not, then Hollywood would not have tried and failed miserably to rip it off. Towards the end of the book, when Benjamin began to grow into his baby years, I could not help ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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