Friday, February 08, 2019

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a curious case of a short story that provided an interesting idea to "inspire" a movie. In the store, Benjamin Button is born an old man, and ages in reverse until he exits a young baby. In the story, his "physical" age matches his intellect and emotional age. He retains some memories and desires from his "past", but still behaves much as a 20 year old would when he looks to be 20. The movie adds a new twist, with his mind aging independently. Thus he looks to be an old man, but has the mind of a young child. This allows some interesting exploration that is not present in the original story. Both do present an interesting exploration of the impact of our "age" in our life and our choices. There are many expectations of people based on the age they look. People are also quick to judge and also quick to forget. The story is also, somewhat symptomatic of its time, highly male focussed. Though a mother does birth Benjamin, she is nowhere to be seen. His wife also is there just to be courted and then plays very little role (other than to be a person that is no longer attractive to him as he gets younger.)
The collection from Blackstone audio also included a few other Fitzgerald Short stories: The lost decade, Three hours between planes, The bridal party, Babylon revisited. These tended to focus on socialites and their experiences.

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