If you’ve seen the film before reading this story(like I did), then you’ll be definitely be surprised.
I’ve learned to separate films and books a long time ago. I still get angry when a favorite is poorly adapted, but I’ve learned to let it go.
I obviously knew beforehand that the stories were going to have some differences. The film is an almost two-hour feature, and the story is a total of thirty pages. However, I guess I wasn’t expecting just how much liberty the film took. Honestly if they had changed the title and the name of the characters, I would have never linked these two stories together.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button begins with the birth of Benjamin Button. To the shock of the staff and his parents, Benjamin is not the the tiny soft newborn they were expecting. He is man of about eighty with wrinkles and white hair who demands to be properly clothed and fed. Everyone including his parents is disgusted with him. However, his parents take him home, or I should say his father because his poor mother I think is mentioned once in the entire story. He grows up or grows down as I should say and every year he is younger. His maturity level changes along with his age which is disturbing and confusing to those around him.
What I liked about the story was the concept. It is fascinating to imagine what our lives would be like if were born old and as we “aged” we became younger. While reading this story, it is difficult to place the benefits, or the differences that come with that change.I think what Fitzgerald was attempting to create here, is that life is a cycle. We start as defenseless babies and we end as defenseless adults. One of the scenes that stuck with me, was when Benjamin’s son wants nothing to do with Benjamin because Benjamin’s youth is a liability. It struck me as a very real depiction of what many aging adults go through with their children.
I didn’t really care for the characters in the story. It doesn’t go in depth with these these characters which is difficult in a short story, but it just felt like everyone was almost the same. As I mentioned before, I was irritated that his mother didn’t really factor into the story not even after the birth of her son. I wanted to know how she felt after giving birth to an eighty year old man, and if she loved him with a mother’s love or like everyone else in the story treated him with revulsion.
Overall a good short story. I read in about thirty minutes. My only warning is don’t go into to the story with the film in mind you will be disappointed.