The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

benjaminbutton

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Today’s story begins in a rather peculiar fashion. It is the summer of 1860 and Roger Button is heading towards the hospital to welcome his newborn baby. To his surprise he finds a 70 year old man with perfect capability of speech instead of his baby. Readers find out that the “baby”, Benjamin Button ages in reverse. While the others get older, Benjamin Button gets younger. His parents are embarrassed to have such a child. They are so ashamed that they force Benjamin to act like a toddler. They send him to kindergarten as it is the first step in a child’s education. But what would kindergarten teach a 70 year old man? He is often seen sleeping instead of participating in class activities and therefore quickly leaves kindergarten. He also befriends his grandfather and they converse on various subjects of life. 

When Benjamin Button is 48 years old (18 years old in other words) he is enrolled in Yale College. However he is thrown out as the administration assumes he is some crazy old man. When Benjamin Button is 50 years old (20 years old) he falls in love with a beautiful maiden named Hildegarde Moncrief. Hildegarde reciprocates his love as she has a thing for older man. Soon they get married and later, they have a son. He is also given control over the family business of Roger Button & Co. Wholesale Hardware. 

As the years go by, Hildegarde gets older but due to Benjamin’s condition he is getting younger. This creates a gap in their marriage and soon Benjamin loses interest in his wife because she does not look like the way she did when she was younger.

1898 was the time of the famous Spanish-American war. Benjamin Button enlists himself as a soldier and comes back as a hero. He is promoted to lieutenant colonel and is even given a medal as a recognition of his bravery. He retires from the army a few years later to expand his company. After years of working hard, he gives the company to his son. Benjamin Button now looks like his son which irritates the latter. Benjamin finally enrolls in Harvard as he now looks like a college student. He is good at both academics and sports. He even wins a football match against Yale college as an act of vengeance when they refused him admission years ago. 

As the years go by, Benjamin Button keeps getting younger. He is unable to comprehend his study material because it is too difficult for a 16 year old. He is too weak to continue playing for his college. After he has graduated, he finds out that his wife has moved away hence ending their already broken marriage. He starts to live with his son but he asks Benjamin to call him uncle instead of son. Soon he is a teenager and like every other teenager he starts to act out and becomes moody. The situation takes an even stranger turn when Benjamin and his grandson both start attending kindergarten together. Like a child, Benjamin begins to forget his memories of his glorious days of war, his married life with Hildegarde, his college days and soon everything fades to darkness in Benjamin’s memories. 

Above story is the adaptation of the story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

Vaarija Agnihotri
vaarija29@gmail.com

Vaarija Agnihotri has always been an avid reader. So much so that even as a kid she had more picture books than toys in her room. A keen observer as she is, her camera lens captures not pictures but stories. In between chasing her academic goals she finds time to write for us. She loves to retell stories in her own words and this is what the bogs written by her are made up of.