Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

When Benjamin Button was brought into the world in the Summer of 1860, it completely shocked the Baltimore hospital staff to find that instead of him being a screaming tiny baby, he was a fully-grown man of seventy years of age.  Nobody was more shocked than his father, Roger Button, who tried to keep him a young boy.  As the years passed by, Benjamin found that he no longer needed the walking cane or eye glasses; his hair started to grow thick as well and he came to look very much like his father as he learned the family business and found himself a wife and they had a son.
However, socially, he was pushed away from educational endeavours such as Yale university as they thought he was being cocky and an idiot when he told them his age and he looked much older.  Yet, when he went in at what was considered the right age, he was accepted, but for him it was too late, Benjamin was becoming too young for the university courses; as his mind and body continued to age backwards towards youth.

I totally enjoyed reading this partially narrated short story of F. Scott Fitzgerald; as I have loved a lot of his works.  This being a part of a collection of stories, have yet to read the rest of the book, but I have always wanted to read this particular one; as it was turned into a movie with Brad Pitt in it (one I have yet to see; but only missed because I like to read the book/story first).  

F.Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1896 in St Paul, Minnesota and went to Princeton University, which he left in 1917 to join the army.  He was said to have epitomized the Jazz Age, which he himself defined as 'a generation grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought , all faiths in man shaken'.  In 1920, he married Zelda Sayre and their traumatic marriage  and her subsequent breakdowns became the leading influence on his writing.  Amongst his publications were five novels This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender is the Night and The Last Tycoon (his last unfinished work); six volumes of short stories and The Crack Up, a selection of autobiographical pieces.
Fitzgerald died suddenly in 1940.  After his death The New York Times said of him that 'He was better than he knew, for in fact and in literary sense he invented a "generation"... he might have interpreted and even guided them, as in their middle years they saw a different and nobler freedom threatened with destruction.'

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed Fitzgerald's writing in this book. His descriptions were breathtaking. The ways in which this differed from the book really made it into an entirely different story.