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October 05, 2014

Unbuttoning Benjamin's Curious Case


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Class,

In the comment box below,

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

~Dr. Hobbs

_____________________________________

To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at October 5, 2014 08:51 PM

Readers' Comments:

Samantha Witte
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
October 7, 2014


QUESTION #15:
How does the author use tone and/or style to create a world that is both fantastical and dreamlike, yet realistic?

ANSWER:
The author uses a depressing and quizzical tone to make a fantastical reality in this short story. Fitzgerald creates this specific tone through his stylistic choice of diction and imagery. He uses words like “imposter…grotesque…appalling” when the father would speak of Benjamin (Fitzgerald 4). Those words have very negative meanings, which create a very depressing tone as the rest of Benjamin’s life story continues. In the beginning of the story is when the quizzical tone takes form as well. Mr. Rodger Button tries to get the nurses to let him see his newborn baby, and he saw “a look of utter terror spread itself over the girl’s face” (Fitzgerald 3). Another aspect of the style of the story is that it goes in chronological order, explaining there are many difficulties Benjamin faces. The connections made from readers to these difficulties that creates the very realistic part of the world, even though the idea is clearly fantasy.

Posted by: Samantha Witte at October 7, 2014 09:52 PM

Elizabeth Brown
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
8 October 2014
Question #4:
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how sympathetic are readers to Benjamin’s character? Can readers relate to him at all, despite the peculiarity of his circumstance? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer
Answer:
While reading this story, readers could be mildly sympathetic to Benjamin’s circumstances. Readers probably cannot relate fully to the peculiarity though. His situation simply does not happen in the “real” world and is irrational to think of. The fact that he is a human allows room for sympathy, but the situation he is in is not realistic for normal humans.

Posted by: Elizabeth Brown at October 8, 2014 01:32 PM

Rashard Knowles
Dr. B Lee. Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing CA07
8 October 2014

Question:
What does F Scott Fitzgerald short story "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" teach readers about the nature of age?

Answer:
This short story in a different sense clarifies the old bible saying "once a man twice a child" in the beginning Benjamin's father had to take care of him because he was so old he could hardly do anything, he knew nothing about how the world worked so he had to lean on his father, during the middle of the story he grew younger therefore he was able to work and do things on his own. Finnaly he grew to infancy (again) thus needing special care. "Once a man twice a child"

Benjamin is seen giving his father respect for living longer as seen on page 6 lines 10-11, eben though he he appeared to be older. "All right, father"--this with a grotesque simulation of filial respect--"you've lived longer; you know best. Just
as you say."

Posted by: Rashard Knowles at October 8, 2014 01:35 PM

Danielle Kluender
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 CA07 Academic Writing II
7 October 2014

Question #12:
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the happier Benjamin becomes in his career, the more strained his marriage grows. Fitzgerald writes, “And here we come to an unpleasant subject which it will be well to pass over as quickly as possible. There was only one thing that worried Benjamin Button: his wife had ceased to attract him.” Why does he fall out of love with Hildegarde?

Answer:
“In the early days of their marriage Benjamin had worshipped Hildegarde. But, as the years passed, her honey-colored hair became an unexciting brown.” (Fitzgerald 12). She also had become too settled in her ways, too placid, too content, and too sober in her taste. Benjamin’s home had so little charm for him that he decided to join the army. He was unattracted to her because he was growing younger and looking better than ever and she was aging and starting to get gray hair and is not as pretty as she once was.

Posted by: Danielle Kluender at October 8, 2014 01:54 PM

Emily Finck
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
17 November 2014


Question #8:
Irony/Tone: in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how does the author employ humor in the story? In what ways id the idea of someone aging in reverse inherently humorous? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.


Answer:
In “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” F. Scott Fitzgerald adds humor to the piece in his use of syntax and situation. For, example when Benjamin is born Fitzgerald uses words such as “grotesque unusually large, and exceptionally large” to exaggerate his appearance (4-5). The word choice is humorous because Benjamin, who should be an infant, is clearly not.


Another example of humor in the text is when Benjamin is getting dressed to leave the hospital. Mr. Button brings a full sized suit for his supposed “infant” son. Mr. Button even reprimands Benjamin, saying with unease that he will “spank him” (Fitzgerald 6). Again, this situation is funny because Benjamin is a full grown adult and not an infant, plus no one would ever threaten to spank a baby.


As for aging in reverse, the idea in inherently funny because one starts out life being elderly but with no knowledge: then towards the end of life one gains knowledge only to lose it when reverting back infancy.

Posted by: Emily Finck at November 15, 2014 12:06 PM

Thomas Watson
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
16 November 2014

QUESTION #10: How does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” though written almost a century ago, reflect our society’s current attitude toward age and aging?

ANSWER:
In our current society age affects the attitude of all. When you look at someone and know their age, you determine the type of person that they are. Within the story, you can see clearly that Benjamin is being judged for his age. Stated by his wife Hildegarde, “"You're just the romantic age," she continued--"fifty. Twenty-five is too worldly-wise; thirty is apt to be pale from overwork; forty is the age of long stories that take a whole cigar to tell; sixty is--oh, sixty is too near seventy; but fifty is the mellow age. I love fifty”(Fitzgerald 11). Also, Benjamin was denied his right to go to college because he appeared too old to be an 18-year-old. Also, he was disrespected once he went back into the military because he appeared too young. The story also shows that with young age comes vitality in one's abilities. Once he applied to go to Harvard this happened, “He was admitted, and almost immediately attained a prominent position in the class, partly because he seemed a little older than the other freshmen, whose average age was about eighteen. But his success was largely due to the fact that in the football game with Yale he played so brilliantly, with so much dash and with such a cold, remorseless anger that he scored seven touchdowns and fourteen field goals for Harvard, and caused one entire eleven of Yale men to be carried singly from the field, unconscious. He was the most celebrated man in college”(Fitzgerald 14). Ultimately, with age come stereotypes that are still existent to this day.

Posted by: Thomas Watson at November 16, 2014 12:42 PM

Allison Ward
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature
16 November 2014

Question:
Well-executed short stories usually cover a short period of time. How is it that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” functions well as a short piece, yet covers the course of seventy years?

Answer
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story functions well as a short story by using transitions to go from one point of time to another. In each “section” of time, the details of what was going on were very general. The way Fitzgerald wrote the story made it flow well as a short story.

Posted by: Allison Ward at November 16, 2014 03:31 PM

Shelby Rexroth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 210 CA02
November 16th, 2014

Question: POINT-OF-VIEW: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” What is the effect of the first-person narration, and why does the narrator reveal himself so minimally?

Answer: The effect of this story being told in first-person narration is that it’s being told by one character at a time. With that being said, in the story you were able to tell how exactly Benjamin Button really felt about what was happening.

Posted by: Shelby Rexroth at November 16, 2014 03:39 PM

Sharonda S Byrd
B. LEE HOBBS
ENG 210CL
16 November 2014
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Question: 12. CONFLICT: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the happier Benjamin becomes in his career, the more strained his marriage grows. Fitzgerald writes, “And here we come to an unpleasant subject which it will be well to pass over as quickly as possible. There was only one thing that worried Benjamin Button: his wife had ceased to attract him.” Why does he fall out of love with Hildegarde?
Answer: Benjamin falls out of love with his wife Hildegarde because while he is getting younger, she is getting older. In the story Benjamin worshipped her but as the years go on things changed, “as the years passed, her honey-colored hair became an unexciting brown, the blue enamel of her eyes assumed the aspect of cheap crockery--moreover, and, most of all, she had become too settled in her ways, too placid, too content, too anaemic in her excitements, and too sober in her taste”, the reason why he fell in love with her is because she was young and exciting and now that Hildegarde is aging he realizes that he never truly loved her, he just lusted after her. Hildegarde resents the fact that she has to watch Benjamin become young and handsome while she is becoming old and frail and Benjamin realizes this but cannot stop what is happening. “She was a woman of forty now, with a faint skirmish line of gray hairs in her head.”

Posted by: sharonda byrd at November 16, 2014 09:08 PM

Irma Sera
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG. 210CL Love & Desire in Literature CA02
16 November 2014


Question 11:
IRONY: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” what is ironic about Benjamin marrying a “younger” woman? What does the story reveal about our perceptions of age and beauty? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer:
What is ironic about Benjamin marrying a younger woman is, as he is getting younger, (because he is aging backwards), she is getting older, and what use to excite him about Hildegarde; his wife does not excite him anymore. “And here we come to an unpleasant subject which it will be well to pass over as quickly as possible. There was only one thing that worried Benjamin Button; his wife had ceased to attract him” (Fitzgerald, 12). The story reveals that our perception of age and beauty is that the younger a person is, the more beautiful they are, and the older they become, the more they will lose the beautiful characteristics and traits they once carried. “At that time Hildegarde was a woman of thirty-five, with a son, Roscoe, fourteen years old. In the early days of their marriage, Benjamin had worshipped her. But, as the years passed, her honey-coloured hair became an unexciting brown, the blue enamel of her eyes assumed the aspect of cheap crockery--moreover, and, most of all, she had become too settled in her ways, too placid, too content, too anaemic in her excitements, and too sober in her taste” (Fitzgerald, page 12). This quote explains why Benjamin became bored with Hildegarde; she lost everything that he fell in love with her for.

Posted by: irma sera at November 17, 2014 01:33 AM

Rebecca Messano
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL
Nov 17, 2014

In "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," how does the author use Benjamin's condition to ridicule social norms?

In this story, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses Benjamin's condition to ridicule social norms by giving him the ability to talk as a "newborn" and describing his newborn child to be "about seventy years of age." In reality, a newborn does not look anything like Benjamin did.

Posted by: Rebecca Messano at November 17, 2014 10:49 AM

Ashjan Alrashid

Dr. B. Lee Hobbs

ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02

17 November 2014

Question #3 :

PLOT: Is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” funny, tragic, or both?

Answer:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a very interesting story but a very tragic one as well. Benjamin Button lived his life just like his wife said, "different from everybody else” (Fitzgerald 13). Being born, living his life and dying in a different way than everybody else made his life hard. At first his father treated him according to his age and not on what he looked or acted like “Mr. Button persisted in his unwavering purpose. Benjamin was a baby, and a baby he should remain.” (6) In his youth just in time to apply to college, he looked so old for college that the registrar said "A man of your age trying to enter here as a freshman. Eighteen years old, are you? Well, I'll give you eighteen minutes to get out of town.” (9) When Benjamin was in his fifties he was a "boy whose fresh, cheerful face was crossed with just a hint of sadness”(17). His life was mostly sad and for some reason people thought he can control it an hated him for it.

Posted by: ashjan alrashid at November 17, 2014 02:34 PM

Gabriela Navarro
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
17 November 2014

QUESTION #5: What does F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story, "The Curious Case of the Benjamin Button," teach reader about the nature of age?


ANSWER:
Maturity is usually associated with old age. However, we can not determined the behavior of being an adult as being a certain age. The aspect of adultness can not be seen merely from Benjamin's age, but also the chaining of mind set from a childhood gentleman. "I like men of your age," Hildegarde told him. "Young boys are so idiotic. They tell me how much champagne they drink at college, and how much money they lose playing cards. Men of your age know how to appreciate women" (Fitzgerald, 11). There is an interest in observing how people are old, yet not mature enough and vise versa, young but responsible enough to be full grown.

Posted by: Gabriela Navarro at November 17, 2014 02:49 PM

Rebecca Messano and Antonella Aviles
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL
November 17, 2014

Question #8: In your group, discuss how some aspect of agapic love is there in a positive or negative way.

Answer: In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the father has negative agape love because he is not kind to Benjamin. Even though Benjamin is his child, he did not accept that he was different. He was born as an old man and he tried to force a childhood on him by doing things like bringing home "a rattle and, giving it to Benjamin, insisted in no uncertain terms that he should 'play with it,'" and he did as a sense of obedience rather than of out pleasure. Had the father been more accepting of Benjamin even though he was different, then there could have been a positive example of agape love.

Posted by: Rebecca Messano and Antonella Aviles at November 17, 2014 02:58 PM

Brianna Broughton & Martin Terrasi
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 210 CL- Love and Desire in Literature
17 November 2014

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Question 5: In Plato’s Symposium, you explored the Erotic concept (working definition of love)
of the Narcissist/Narcissism (love of self), as seemingly expressed by Agathon. In your group, discuss how some aspect of this theory is either present or absent in either a positive or negative way in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Answer: In the short story “The Curios Case of Benjamin Button,” the concept presented by Agathon of Narcissism is presented. One example is after some time of being with his wife; Benjamin is no longer in love with her because of her appearance. As an excuse to avoid her, he goes off to fight in the Spanish-American war. “At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898 his home had for him so little charm that he decided to join the army.” (Pg. 13).
The son of Benjamin, Roscoe Button, also shows signs of narcissism. Near the ending of the story when his father looks like a young boy, he is embarrassed of him and orders him to call him “uncle” instead of by his first name. This embarrassed him; he was more concerned with how his immediate family would be seen by spectators rather than his concern for his father’s ailments. ““And another thing," continued Roscoe, "When visitors are in the house I want you to call me 'Uncle'—not 'Roscoe,' but 'Uncle,' do you understand? It looks absurd for a boy of fifteen to call me by my first name. Perhaps you'd better call me 'Uncle' all the time, so you'll get used to it." ” (Pg. 15).

Posted by: Brianna Broughton at November 17, 2014 03:00 PM

Brianna Broughton
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 210 CL- Love & Desire in Literature
17 November 2014

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Question 3: PLOT: Is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” funny, tragic, or both?

Answer: The short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, has both comedic and tragic elements. The father, Roger Button, first expresses tragedy in the early hours after his birth. "You've made a monkey of me!" retorted Mr. Button fiercely. "Never you mind how funny you look. Put them on--or I'll--or I'll spank you." He swallowed uneasily at the penultimate word, feeling nevertheless that it was the proper thing to say.” (Pg. 6). In this same quote there is underlying comedy, when you use the authors descriptive writing of what is going on to imagine this. When Benjamin is first born he looks like a man of seventy years old. He is very frail, had white wispy hair on his head, and a long white beard. The comedy from this quote comes from the point where Roger threatens to spank Benjamin. This is funny because if you imagine a man of about thirty years old spanking a man that looks about forty years his senior is rather peculiar.

Posted by: Brianna Broughton at November 17, 2014 03:13 PM

Ashjan Alrashid, Allison Ward

Dr. B. Lee Hobbs

ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02

17 November 2014

Question #1 :
In Plato’s Symposium, you explored the Erotic concept (working definition of love) of the Lover/Beloved dichotomy, as discussed by Phaedrus, and the superiority of the Lover. In your group, discuss how some aspect of this theory is either present or absent in either a positive or negative way in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Answer:
We see the Lover/Beloved dichotomy in the relationship between Mr. Roger Button and his son Benjamin Button. From the first time he saw his son, he claims superiority as a lover and treated him as his child even though he looked older than him. Benjamin also was clearly the beloved in this relationship "His son took the hand trustingly. "What are you going to call me, dad?" he quavered as they walked from the nursery--"just 'baby' for a while? till you think of a better name?”.(Fitzgerald 6) Also when Benjamin said, ""All right, father"--this with a grotesque simulation of filial respect--"you've lived longer; you know best. Just as you say.””(6) he clearly admitted his father superiority.

Posted by: ashjan alrashid at November 17, 2014 03:15 PM

Shelby Rexroth & Gabby Narrvaro
November 17th, 2014
ENG 210 CA02
Dr. Hobbs

Question: 7) In Plato’s Symposium, you explored the Erotic concept (working definition of love) of the Love as an Evolution from something shallow and limited (e.g., the love of the ONE individual body) to something rich/deep and comprehensive (Desire for Beauty with a Capital B.), as seemingly expressed by Agathon. In your group, discuss how some aspect of this theory is either present or absent in either a positive or negative way in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Answer in your own words, but, where possible, use quoted and cited passages from the texts to support your answer. Group scribes will record the group answer on the English-Blog BEFORE the next meeting.

Answer: This aspect is present in the story due to the fact that Benjamin falls in love with Hiladegarde, but as she got older and her looks changed, the love faded away. Another example of the aspect discussed is in the story when he was accepted and loved by everyone even though he’s different from everybody else.

Posted by: Shelby Rexroth at November 17, 2014 03:18 PM

Matt Weller
Emily Finck
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 201CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
17 November 2014

Question #4:
In Plato’s Symposium, you explored Erotic concept (working definition of love) of the Complete/Incomplete (or, Uninjured/Injured) dichotomy, as discussed by Aristophanes, and the desire for wholeness. In your group, discuss how some aspect of this theory is either present or absent in either a positive or negative way in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Answer:
There is a sense of love in the story, but Benjamin is never fully satisfied with the events that comprise of his life and never feels whole. For example, when Benjamin is born his father’s reaction is less than satisfying. He sees that Benjamin is an elderly man and not an infant and instantly his reaction of “where in God’s name did you come from” leaves Benjamin feeling injured emotionally (Fitzgerald 4). Another example of the negative impact of the desire for wholeness is then Benjamin meets Hildegard. He loves Hildegard when she is younger, but loses his desire for her once she starts to age. He is growing unhappy with her demeanor, looks, and conduct because he is growing younger. He describes her as “ a dowager of evil omen, and haughty disapproval” (Fitzgerald 14).

Posted by: Matthew Weller at November 17, 2014 03:19 PM

Anthony Colello
Zailet Martinez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
17 November 2014

Question #2:

In Plato’s Symposium, you explored the Erotic concept (working definition of love) of the Heavenly Love/Common Love dichotomy, as discussed by Pausanias, and the superiority of heavenly love. In your group, discuss how some aspect of this theory is either present or absent in either a positive or negative way in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Answer in your own words, but, where possible, use quoted and cited passages from the texts to support your answer. Group scribes will record the group answer on the English-Blog BEFORE the next meeting.

Answer:

Throughout the story Benjamin meets people that would normally love him in a "storge" or "agape" sense. Rather, these people love him in a common way. Common love is the basic level of love with heavenly love being the highest level of platonic love. Most of Benjamin's encounters hardly gave him the time or chance to climb the metaphorical ladder of love. His own mother wasn't even present in the story other than birthing him. His father loved him as it was his duty to do so, his wife only loved the idea of him, "I like men of your age- young boys are so idiotic" (Fitzgerald, 11). Hildegarde explains that she has a type and he fits it. Had she loved Benjamin in a heavenly way, she could have accepted his faults.

Posted by: Anthony and Zailet at November 17, 2014 11:57 PM

Ahmed Almoailu
Dr.Hobbs
ENG210CL
11/17/2014

Question: CHARACTER: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how
sympathetic are readers to Benjamin’s character? Can readers relate to him at all, despite the peculiarity of
his circumstance? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer


I think the reader will definitely feel sad for Benjamin. I think it's a sad story because Benjamin age in reverse and in every point of his life he was not accepted by some people. For example, in his birth he was not accepted by his father. "Mr. Button, sank down upon a chair near his son and concealed his face in his hands. "My heavens!" he
murmured, in an ecstasy of horror. "What will people say? What must I do?"" ( THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON By F. Scott Fitzgerald,Page 4 ). This quote shows the reader how Benjamin was not accepted by his father when he was born, his father was worrying about what people will say and not about Benjamin.

Posted by: Ahmed Almoailu at November 18, 2014 06:08 PM

Irma Sera & Ahmed Almoailu
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG. 210CL Love & Desire in Literature CA02
16 November 2014

Question #3: In Plato’s Symposium, you explored the Erotic concept (working definition of love) of the Balance/Imbalance dichotomy, as discussed by Eryximachus, and the desire for balance. In your group, discuss how some aspect of this theory is either present or absent in either a positive or negative way in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Answer in your own words, but, where possible, use quoted and cited passages from the texts to support your answer. Group scribes will record the group answer on the English-Blog BEFORE the next meeting.
Answer:
By default, Benjamin was born with a sickness that automatically makes him different from everyone that he would meet. Benjamin lives a lifestyle where everything he is going through singles him out so he seeks the desire for balance in his identity, the need to want other people to accept him for what he is because he has no choice but to live with the disease. “Benjamin discovered that he was becoming more and more attracted by the gay side of life. It was typical of his growing enthusiasm for pleasure that he was the first man in the city of Baltimore to own and run an automobile. Meeting him on the street, his contemporaries would stare enviously at the picture he made of health and vitality” (Fitzgerald, page. 17). As his age changed, so did his social interest and passion for life changed as well. He looked for and did things that people would do when they were a certain age. Balancing out his interest with the current age plays a bug part in identity.

Posted by: irma sera & ahmed Almoailu at November 18, 2014 11:03 PM

Sharonda Byrd and Thomas Watson
B. LEE HOBBS
ENG 210CL
17 November 2014
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Question: 6. In Plato’s Symposium, you explored the Erotic concept (working definition of love) of the Desire for Beautiful things, as seemingly expressed by Agathon, and Love
as some “thing” to be worshiped, in itself. In your group, discuss how some aspect of this theory is either present or absent in either a positive or negative way in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Answer in your own words, but, where possible, use quoted and cited passages from the texts to support your answer.

Answer: In the short story Benjamin Button, Benjamin demonstrates Agathons theory in different ways. Benjamin has the desire to be “normal” for instance him wanting to go to college, “So his father sent him up to Connecticut to take examinations for entrance to Yale College. Benjamin passed his examination and became a member of the freshman class.” This quote demonstrates the theory because to Benjamin education was a beautiful thing, he desired to learn new things and when he finally got it he was very happy with it. Looking at the aspect of the desire of beautiful things Benjamin loved that his wife was young and vivacious. In the story when he describes his wife he never describes her personality or how amazing she is, he just describes how beautiful her body frame is or how pretty her eyes are.

Posted by: sharonda byrd at November 18, 2014 11:53 PM

Zailet Martinez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 201CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
18 November 2014

Question #9:
THEME: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” by the time Benjamin takes over his father’s company, his relationship with his father is dramatically different. The author writes, “And if old Roger Button, now sixty-five years old, had failed at first to give a proper welcome to his son he atoned at last by bestowing on him what amounted to adulation.” Benjamin’s reverse aging is responsible for many of the highs and lows of his relationships with his father and his son. Is it possible that these relationships in some ways parallel those of all fathers and sons? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer

Answer:
Benjamin and his family had a parallel relationship as any other family. The aging of Benjamin Bottom is reversed but it is basically like normal aging. When someone is born their family takes care of them, the same happens when you are old you must be taken care of as well. The difference is in authority, authority from a son to a father. Everyone believes and has the understanding that younger kids must always respect their elders. This was a problem with Benjamin Bottom and his son Roscoe. There was a point in their life when Roscoe was older that Benjamin. At that point Roscoe did not want Benjamin to call him by name but rather refer to him as Uncle. Roscoe tells Benjamin, ‘"when visitors are in the house I want you to call me 'Uncle'—not 'Roscoe,' but 'Uncle,' do you understand? It looks absurd for a boy of fifteen to call me by my first name”’ (Fitzgerald, 15). Because of this problem it is hard to say that Benjamin’s relationship with his family was parallel to other but for the most part they are parallel.

Posted by: Zailet Martinez at November 19, 2014 12:19 AM

Aderias Ewing
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing 2
23 February 2015
Question 5 THEME: What does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” teach Readers about the nature of age? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer
In this story of a man growing younger; that age is much more than just a number. Not only does it dictate our physical condition, but our personality and character traits as well. Benjamin Button isn’t just born with the body of an old man – he’s born with the mind and tastes of an old man. As he gets younger, it’s not just his body that’s more active, but also his social interests and passion for life. When he’s old, he really just wants to sit around and chat with other old men. When he’s young, he’s satisfied to play with strips of brightly colored paper.

Posted by: aderias ewing at February 23, 2015 11:02 AM

Emily Buckley
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
23 February 2015

Question: PLOT: Is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” funny, tragic, or both? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: The short story “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is a tragedy. At the beginning of the story when Benjamin is born an old man readers know that his whole life is going to be backwards, and he would never be able to live an ordinary life. His entire life was ruined because he had adjust to the rest of the world and how they did not accept the person he was. He repeatedly was disappointed and disappointed others. His father did not want him because he was not normal, “"You'll have to take him home," insisted the nurse--"immediately!" A grotesque picture formed itself with dreadful clarity before the eyes of the tortured man--a picture of himself walking through the crowded streets of the city with this appalling apparition stalking by his side. "I can't. I can't," he moaned.” He was disappointed when his wife grew old, and he became young, as did his wife. “And here we come to an unpleasant subject which it will be well to pass over as quickly as possible. There was only one thing that worried Benjamin Button; his wife had ceased to attract him.” His entire life was full of disappointments because he could not enjoy life as it should have been.

Posted by: Emily Buckley at February 23, 2015 12:50 PM

Selena Hammie
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA12
23 February 2015

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Question #7: Speculate on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s reasoning for breaking his short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” into two parts. What effect does this structuring have on the story?

The reason that Fitzgerald broke his story up in two parts was to tell his readers how Benjamin lived when he was first born and to tell us how he lived when he was getting younger. He lived his life the opposite way as everyone else. At first, he looked like an old man but in terms of age he was young and as the story progresses he lives his life “backwards.” He begins by owning a small business, goes to war, and goes to school; starting off with college and ending in kindergarten and being taken care of by a nurse as a baby. By telling the story this way it shows us how he lived differently from others and explained how you live once you are an adult and how you live when you are a child. His son, Roscoe, has to take care of him instead of Benjamin taking care of Roscoe. Roscoe had to do as he did to his own son, “Roscoe took them both to kindergarten on the same day.” (Fitzgerald page 17)

Posted by: Selena Hammie at February 23, 2015 04:06 PM

Victoria Markou
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 12
23 February 2015

Question 11: IRONY: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” what is ironic about Benjamin marrying a “younger” woman? What does the story reveal about our perceptions of age and beauty?

Answer: When Benjamin first married Hildegarde, she was the one who "dragged" Benjamin to dances and dinners--now conditions reversed"(Fitzgerald 12). Her enthusiasm seemed devoured increasingly with age (Fitzgerald 12). Her personality and looks seemed to vanish to him, she was now “his wife, a dowager of evil omen” (Fitzgerald 14). He soon hated to appear in public with her because “the sight of her made him feel absurd” (Fitzgerald 14). Hildegarde loved the idea that Benjamin was in his mellow fifties when they met (Fitzgerald 11). “In the early days of their marriage Benjamin had worshipped her,” but as time went on, her exciting looks faded. (Fitzgerald 12). The irony is that their positions and feelings in their relationship changed with age. They were both originally attracted to the beauty that came with their original ages when they had met.

Posted by: Victoria Markou at February 23, 2015 08:01 PM

Kathleen Sholl
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA12
24 February 15

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” Discussion Question

Question: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how does the author use tone and/or style to create a world that is both fantastical and dreamlike, yet realistic?

Answer: In “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the author uses tone and style to create a world that is fantastical and dreamlike, yet realistic. Benjamin Button’s lifestyle is highly unusual, as he ages backwards. The author creates a world that is dreamlike by using tone and style in numerous ways. In the short story, it states, “he was puzzled as anyone else at the apparently advanced age of his mind and body at birth” (Fitzgerald 7). This quote is an example of how the author presents a sense of wonder that Benjamin is feeling. Fitzgerald, however, uses a tone to create a world that is also realistic by having the character go through life as any other normal human would. Benjamin attends school, goes to college, and even gets married. Even though he ages backward, he still tries to somewhat live an ordinary life. “By the time he was twelve years old his parents had grown used to him” (Fitzgerald 8).

Posted by: Kathleen Sholl at February 24, 2015 02:47 PM

Mallory Delay
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
24 February 2015

Question 6: Well-executed short stories usually cover a short period of time. How is it that F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," functions well as a short, yet covers the course of seventy years?

Answer: Fitzgerald's short story functions well as a short and covers seventy years because he is able to skip some of the years. He does not add in every year of Benjamin Button's life; instead he mentions a select few years like when he turned twelve, eighteen, twenty and thirty. (Fitzgerald 12) Fitzgerald covers seventy years by mentioning the only important details of Benjamin's life according to the story.

Posted by: Mallory Delay at February 24, 2015 05:30 PM

Jorge Braham

Dr. Hobbs

Academic Writing II CA12

24 February 2015

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Question:

CONFLICT: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the happier Benjamin becomes in his career, the more strained his marriage grows. Fitzgerald writes, “And here we come to an unpleasant subject which it will be well to pass over as quickly as possible. There was only one thing that worried Benjamin Button: his wife had ceased to attract him.” Why does he fall out of love with Hildegarde? Answer in your own words but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer:

The reason he becomes less in love with his wife is because as he gets younger his feeling become different as he gets younger. He didn’t have the same feeling as when they first danced. He believed that she wasn’t at enthusiastic as she use to be.

“But, as the years passed, her honey-coloured hair became an unexciting brown, the blue enamel of her eyes assumed the aspect of cheap crockery--moreover, and, most of all, she had become too settled in her ways, too placid, too content, too anaemic in her excitements, and too sober in her taste.”

Posted by: Jorge Braham at February 24, 2015 10:08 PM

Vallinique Martin
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
24 February 2015

Question: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, the “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” how does Benjamin’s reverse aging ironically mirrors the modern midlife crisis?

Answer: The modern midlife crisis is where an adult between the ages of 40-50 begin to feel some kind of confusion and frustration with their lives and certain circumstances. Similar to Benjamin Button’s feelings, he could not change the fact that he was aging backwards so he began to have some frustrations. At 20 years, old Button says, “Old fellows like me can’t learn new tricks,” he observed profoundly. It’s you youngsters with vitality that have the great future ahead of you.” (Fitzgerald 10) In this quote, you can see the bitterness in Buttons tone; although he is only 20 years old, his circumstances lead him into an early “midlife crisis.”

Posted by: Vallinique Martin at February 24, 2015 11:23 PM

Amanda Cannon
Dr. Hobbs
ENC 122 Academic Writing II CA12
25 February 2015

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Question #3: Is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” funny, tragic, or both? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.
Answer: Fitzgerald’s story is both funny and tragic. Roger Button was so excited his wife had a child. When he meets his child for the first time, the child is around the same age as him. At first, Roger thought the hospital was playing a “ghastly joke” (Fitzgerald 3) on him. Some would find this part of the story funny. All throughout life, Benjamin never looked his age causing him to face some difficult situations; like being rejected by Yale because he looked too old to be a college student (Fitzgerald 9). For Benjamin, being born old and living life in reverse, it caused others to resent him. His son wanted Benjamin to call him “uncle” instead of Roscoe. Benjamin asked Roscoe to take him to the prep and register him, but Roscoe claimed “I haven’t got the time” (Fitzgerald 15). This part of the story becomes tragic when everyone starts to resent Benjamin.

Posted by: Amanda Cannon at February 25, 2015 09:54 AM

Jan Urbaniak
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA12
25 February 2015

Question: 3. PLOT: Is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” funny, tragic, or both? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: History showed in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” is both funny and tragic. Moments of lifetime as a small things are funny for a reader, “".... And what do you think should merit our biggest attention after hammers and nails?" the elder Button was saying. "Love," replied Benjamin absent-mindedly. "Lugs?" exclaimed Roger Button, "Why, I've just covered the question of lugs." Benjamin regarded him with dazed eyes just as the eastern sky was suddenly cracked with light, and an oriole yawned piercingly in the quickening trees... (5 Fitzgerald) , but plot at all has a tragic disposition. “He did not remember clearly whether the milk was warm or cool at his last feeding or how the days passed--there was only his crib and Nana's familiar presence. And then he remembered nothing. When he was hungry he cried--that was all. Through the noons and nights he breathed and over him there were soft mumblings and murmurings that he scarcely heard, and faintly differentiated smells, and light and darkness. Then it was all dark, and his white crib and the dim faces that moved above him, and the warm sweet aroma of the milk, faded out altogether from his mind.”

Posted by: Jan Urbaniak at February 25, 2015 10:04 AM

Amber Dunlap
Dr. Hobbs
ENG. 122 Academic Writing CA 12
25 February 2015

Question 10:
How did F. Scott Fitzgerald short story "the curious case of Benjamin button" though written almost a century ago reflect on society's current attitude towards aging?
Answer:
In this short story, Benjamin is a young boy who begins to age very quickly. He starts to grow grey hairs and dress more conservative, not how a twelve-year-old boy should dress. His dad has no choice but to deal with it because he knows whom his son is, but society being society they judge him on his outer appearance. Benjamin was accepted to school, but once they were aware of his appearance, they did not allow him to come. Society attitude is not good towards aging they look at you differently, in a way as if you do not belong.

Posted by: Amber Dunlap at February 25, 2015 10:56 AM

Kaitlin Murphy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-122 Academic Writing II CA12
24 February 2015

Question: POINT-OF-VIEW: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” What is the effect of the first-person narration, and why does the narrator reveal himself so minimally? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: The effect of the first-person narration is that the narrator is setting the tone of the story. “I shall tell you what occurred, and let you judge for yourself” (Fitzgerald 1). This reveals himself to the point where the reader gets the sense of tone he is setting for the whole story.

Posted by: Kaitlin Murphy at February 25, 2015 12:50 PM

Emma Riemer
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
25 February 2015


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Question 5: THEME: What does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” teach readers about the nature of age? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer:
This story teaches readers that with age there are different opportunities. With aging, one experiences different things. Benjamin aged backwards; he experienced things backwards. At the age of eighteen, he looked fifty so he could not experience college at that point. However, when he looked twenty or so he went to college and was accepted, “…Apparently about twenty years old, entered himself as a freshmen at Harvard university in Cambridge” (Fitzgerald 14). When Benjamin was born, his father wanted him to play with a rattle but he was way past that mentality. Benjamin was born a man with the thoughts of a man. When he became younger, he found that he could not do the things he did before. For example, “He became known as something of a prodigy--a senior who was surely no more than sixteen--and he was often shocked at the worldliness of some of his classmates. His studies seemed harder to him--he felt that they were too advanced” (fitzgerald 14). Through the story, Benjamin’s father wanted him to be a boy and act his age. Benjamin lived a full life; he just lived it backwards.

Posted by: Emma Riemer at February 25, 2015 02:22 PM

Charis Lavoie
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
26 February 2015

Question 1: THEME/TONE: Does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” have a moral, or attempt to teach its readers a lesson of sorts? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.
Answer: This story tells the tale of a man who aged in reverse to the rest of the world. As a child all we want to do is grow up and gain freedom but in the case of Benjamin Button he just wanted to be like everyone else. As he aged, Benjamin’s longing to be younger changed to a longing to be as he was.

Posted by: Charis Lavoie at February 26, 2015 03:16 PM


Sidnee Yaeger
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
3 October 2015

Question: TONE: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how does the author use tone and/or style to create a world that is both fantastical and dreamlike, yet realistic? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer

Answer: One of the tones and styles that Fitzgerald use to create a world that is both fantastical and dreamlike, yet realistic is irony. He uses irony by the way Benjamin is an adult when he is born, which is fantastical and dreamlike. Irony in the story, however, is realistic because when Benjamin eventually is eighteen and ready to go to college, but the registrar thought the opposite, kids now days do not look their actual age, they can look older or even younger. “"I'm a freshman." "Surely you're joking." "Not at all." The registrar frowned and glanced at a card before him. "Why, I have Mr. Benjamin Button's age down here as eighteen." "That's my age," asserted Benjamin, flushing slightly. The registrar eyed him wearily. "Now surely, Mr. Button, you don't expect me to believe that."” (Fitzgerald 9).

Posted by: Sidnee Yaeger at October 3, 2015 10:14 AM

Michael Mooney
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
3 October 2015
Question: Is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” funny, tragic, or both?
Answer: The story “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is centered on the son of Roger Button, a “boy” that is cursed with reverse aging (he began his life as an old man of 70 and ended life as an infant). From the beginning, the story is set up as a comedy, following the escapades of “young” Benjamin Button as he attempts to navigate his childhood in the body of an old man. His father struggles to make the best of the situation, treating Benjamin as a child, buying toys and forcing him to play with them “One day he brought home a rattle and, giving it to Benjamin, insisted in no uncertain terms that he should ‘play with it,’ whereupon the old man took it with--a weary expression and could be heard jingling it obediently at intervals throughout the day.” (Fitzgerald 7) and eventually convincing Benjamin to play with other young boys “his age”, “At his father's urging he made an honest attempt to play with other boys, and frequently he joined in the milder games--football shook him up too much, and he feared that in case of a fracture his ancient bones would refuse to knit.” (Fitzgerald 7). As the story wears on, Benjamin’s age continues to trickle down. He grows apart from his wife, seeing her as old and boring, and eventually becomes alienated from his own son. The story in the latter half slowly takes a somber tone. With World War I in full swing Benjamin, a Colonel in the US army and a veteran of the Spanish-American War, is promoted to General and ordered to command and infantry regiment in Europe. However, he has reverted to a young boy’s age and is refused command “Two days later, however, his son Roscoe materialised from Baltimore, hot and cross from a hasty trip, and escorted the weeping general, sans uniform, back to his home.” (Fitzgerald 16). As his age drops, he begins to forget his fantastic life experiences, such as his war experiences, running the family business, and his family life. Eventually, Benjamin becomes an infant and simply fades away.

Posted by: Michael Mooney at October 3, 2015 01:47 PM

Jacie Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA09
3 October 2015

Question #10

Question: How does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” though written almost a century ago, reflect our society’s current attitude toward age and aging?

Answer: Society judges. It is something that always is and will be. As humans we constantly judge one another, especially people we don’t know, generally because we are discontent with our own lives. In the story of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, Benjamin is constantly under the microscope, being analyzed and evaluated. From the moment he was born, the doctors, his own parents, and friends of the family, all cast judgement down on the newborn old man (Fitzgerald 3). He never fit into society because society refused to let him in. It wasn’t until the middle of his life, when his abnormality was less noticeable, that people would conveniently forget his origins and pretend everything was okay (Fitzgerald 10). But as soon as his body and age started to show a drastic difference, they were back to ostracizing him (Fitzgerald 15). When it comes to society’s attitude toward age and aging, we have a set manual on how one is supposed to act at certain times in their life. Children can cry, throw temper tantrums, and break things without the cops being called on them. Teenagers are allowed to be rambunctious, reckless, and loud. When reaching adulthood, more responsibilities are thrust upon you. The phrase “acting your age” comes to mind. You have to be responsible, manage your time and money wisely, and be polite and civil even if you don’t feel like it. The elderly allowed certain leniencies as well because we regard their age with wisdom and give them respect. Old people can be snarky and bitter, chain smoke and drink, tell you off, and drive really slow. However Benjamin Button did these things out of order, his age and body never meshing. Because society has a pack mind set, they take out those that don’t fit in. The example of baby chicks comes to mind: any chick with a deformity will be pecked to death by the others.

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at October 3, 2015 05:24 PM

Peyton Farrier
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
2 October 2015

Question: IRONY: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” when Benjamin returns from the war, Hildegarde, annoyed with his increasingly youthful appearance, says, “You’re simply stubborn. You think you don’t want to be like anyone else...But just think how it would be if everyone else looked at things as you do—what would the world be like?” Later Fitzgerald writes of Roscoe, “It seemed to him that his father, in refusing to look sixty, had not behaved like a ‘red-blooded he-man’...but in a curious and perverse manner.” What is significant about their attitudes? How is it ironic that Hildegarde and Roscoe seem to believe that Benjamin should control his aging?


Answer: Hildegarde was upset at Benjamin because of his aging; he couldn’t help the fact that when he grew older his appearance changed him into a younger version of himself. He was aging backwards and he couldn’t help it. Before they were married she believed he was twice his age that he really was “ Benjamin hesitated. If she took him for his father's brother, would it be best to enlighten her? He remembered his experience at Yale, so he decided against it. It would be rude to contradict a lady” (11). He didn’t want to correct her so now he is suffering for it in the future. Later in Roscoe’s life he had to take care of his son because Benjamin became so young that he eventually ended his life in kindergarten with his grandson. While his grandson moved to first grade the next year young Benjamin remained in kindergarten where a nurse watched him and took care of him.

Posted by: Peyton Farrier at October 4, 2015 10:45 AM

Conner Knaresboro
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA09
4 October 2015

Question: In F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," what is ironic about Benjamin marrying a "younger" woman? What does the story reveal about our perceptions of age and beauty? Answer in your words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: It is Ironic because Benjamin button looks like an old man yet he is in a relationship with this young girl. The story reveals that we have a social norm when it comes to relationships between people. An older looking man shouldn't be married to a young girl it is seen as "weird" when people don't even consider the others people feelings. "When, six months later, the engagement of Miss Hildegarde Moncrief to Mr. Benjamin Button was made known (I say "made known," for General Moncrief declared he would rather fall upon his sword than announce it), the excitement in Baltimore society reached a feverish pitch" (Fitzgerald 11).

Posted by: Conner Knaresboro at October 4, 2015 11:16 AM

Jorge Braham
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-122 Academic Writing II CA09
4 October 2015

Question:
IRONY/TONE: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how does the author employ humor in the story? In what ways is the idea of someone aging in reverse inherently humorous? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.
Answer:
The story itself is kind of funny. A person who ages back words to me is kind of funny to me. Such as when Roger heads back from his hardware store to go see his new born "Baby" and comes to see that he has a 70 year old son. "Because if you are," went on the old man querulously, "I wish you'd get me out of this place--or, at least, get them to put a comfortable rocker in here," ( Fitzgerald 4) . For me I would think that someone is playing a prank on me or something, But really the baby/man has a odd disease which causes him to age back words and then when they take Benjamin home they force him to act like a baby when he still thinks like a older man.

Posted by: Jorge Braham at October 4, 2015 01:21 PM

Brad McAvoy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG II Academic Writing 122 CA-09
10/4/15
Question #16
Answer: In the book “Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, the main character named Benjamin ages backwards. So when he is a baby he is actually a very old man and when he dies he is a baby. Ben’s experiences of aging backwards is similar to midlife crisis that some adults get in their life. Thus, Ben never got to be his actual age and he had to fit in with what his face and body looks like instead of his actual age. As he increasingly becomes younger he remembers that all of his experiences and accomplishments are going to be made into a small baby. This adult went to Harvard, met and fell in-love with Monceif, now all of his life got wasted away to a baby. This mirrors the midlife crisis because people hit life where they have lived it, and they realize that all their goals, accomplishments, and dreams have been wasted away to an old grouchy ancient person. Basically, it doesn’t matter if you start out old and live your life as you get younger because we all end up at the same place. “There were no troublesome memories in his childish sleep; no token came to him of his brave days at college, of the glittering years when he flustered the hearts of many girls. There were only the white, safe walls of his crib and Nana and a man who came to see him sometimes, and a great big orange ball that Nana pointed at just before his twilight bed hour and called "sun." When the sun went his eyes were sleepy – there were no dreams, no dreams to haunt him.” (2.1.8)

Posted by: Brad McAvoy at October 4, 2015 03:48 PM

Hana Lee
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
2 October 2015


Question #11: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” what is ironic about Benjamin marrying a “younger” woman? What does the story reveal about our perceptions of age and beauty?

Answer: The ironic thing about Benjamin marrying a “younger” woman is that he looked a lot older than his age and yet he wasn’t that old enough to look that old quite yet. The story revealed about our perceptions of age and beauty that we should never be deceived by our appearances despite our age. In other words, we shouldn’t deny what others say about how old they are even though they seem to look older or younger than their age. (Fitzgerald 9-12)

Posted by: Hana Lee at October 4, 2015 07:13 PM

Anayah McKenzie
Dr. Hobbs
Eng Academic Writing CA09
October 4, 2015

Question: POINT-OF-VIEW: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” What is the effect of the first-person narration, and why does the narrator reveal himself so minimally? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.


Answer: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the effect of the first-person narration is to make the passage seem as if the narrator has observed happened to Benjamin Button first hand. The narrator said things like, “I shall tell you what occurred, and let you judge for yourself;” which gives the connotation that he or she has witnessed the events (Fitzgerald 1).

Posted by: Anayah McKenzie at October 4, 2015 09:30 PM

Shyiem-Akiem Brown
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
2 October 2015

Question: STRUCTURE: Well-executed short stories usually cover a short period of time. How is it that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” functions well as a short piece, yet covers the course of seventy years? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: The short story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, covers the course of seventy years by telling significant events of the life of Benjamin Button. The author speaks about the peculiar birth of a baby being born at seventy years old and grows down in youth until he is a mere toddler. This unusual phenomenon keeps the reader interested because it has not been heard of. The author uses paragraphs to show significant events of that happened to Benjamin over the course of his life. “So his father sent him up to Connecticut to take examinations for entrance to Yale College. Benjamin passed his examination and became a member of the freshman class” (Fitzgerald 8). “Benjamin started; an almost chemical change seemed to dissolve and recompose the very elements of his body. A rigour passed over him, blood rose into his cheeks, his forehead, and there was a steady thumping in his ears. It was first love” (Fitzgerald 10).

Posted by: Shyiem-Akiem Brown at October 5, 2015 02:19 AM

Freddie Williams
Dr. Hobbs
Eng. 122 Academic Writing II CAO9
October 4, 2015

THEME/TONE: Does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” have a moral, or attempt to teach its readers a lesson of sorts? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

The main message in this story is that age is just not a number, but has to do with a lot on how we act. Example being even though Benjamin Button was technically a newborn child he enjoyed only doing things that older people would have enjoyed and as he got younger so did his mind and the things he enjoyed doing. “When his grandfather's initial antagonism wore off, Benjamin and that gentleman took enormous pleasure in one another's company. They would sit for hours, these two, so far apart in age and experience”. (Fitzgerald.pg 7).

Posted by: Freddie Williams at October 5, 2015 09:04 AM

Brittany Cordero
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
5 October 2015

Question: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how does the author use Benjamin’s condition to ridicule social norms?

Answer: When Mr. Button first arrives at the hospital to see if his child had been born, Dr. Keene was very upset. He was outraged and angered by his "professional reputation" and the impact that Benjamin's birth would have on it (Fitzgerald 2). After meeting his child, "Mr. Button, sank down upon a chair near his son and concealed his face in his hands... 'What will people say? What must I do?'" (Fitzgerald 4). The reactions of characters around Benjamin show how it was not acceptable for things to be different. People were in fear of differences between one another, as they would not be accepted in society as normal.

Posted by: Brittany Cordero at October 5, 2015 11:41 AM

Maria Gonzalez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
5 October 2015

Question: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how sympathetic are readers to Benjamin’s character? Can readers relate to him at all, despite the peculiarity of his circumstance? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: Although F. Scott Fitzgerald “The Curios Case of Benjamin Button” short story is peculiar, readers can certainly relate and be sympathetic towards Benjamin. For example, when Mr. Button realizes that his newly born child literally looks like a seventy year old, he doesn’t want to be known that he’s related to Benjamin (Fitzgerald 4). Neither do the hospital staff. An elderly person may relate to this since many elderlies are placed in nursing homes when the family doesn’t have time for him/her anymore. However a teenager may also relate to him in Benjamin’s last few years. When Benjamin returns from Harvard, he goes and lives with his son Roscoe. Unfortunately, Roscoe doesn’t understand why his father is doing this and has many an argument with Benjamin (Fitzgerald 15). Because many teenagers tend to think that their parents don’t understand them, they tend no lock themselves in their room, just like Benjamin did (Fitzgerald 15).

Posted by: Maria Gonzalez at October 5, 2015 01:42 PM

Necdet Gurkan
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
05 October 2015

Question: Speculate on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s reasoning for breaking his short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” into two parts. What effect does this structuring have on the story? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: Benjamin’s condition is a trial to everyone, and he is constantly criticized for the effect his unusual state has on others. First the doctor and the nurse condemn his birth as troublesome, embarrassing and damaging to their reputation. There is no compassion for the child or his mother. Roger Button sees his new son as “grotesque," describing him as an “appalling apparition." This lurid language and unfeeling reaction is reminiscent of Dr. Frankenstein's response to his creature.
Mr. Button is concerned only with what others will think of his child, and not about his son's feelings. Even more remarkably, no one in the story attempts to discover the reason for Benjamin's condition, nor to cure it through any means except absurd socialization efforts. It is this aspect that makes the story more an example of magic realism than of fantasy: the narrative's acceptance of the outlandish phenomenon within an otherwise recognizable world is a key characteristic of the magic realism genre.

Posted by: Necdet Gurkan at October 5, 2015 02:57 PM

Lawrence Watt
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
5 October 2015

Question: What does F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," teach readers about the nature of age?

Answer: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” teaches readers about the complications of age especially within relationships. Throughout the story Benjamin is judged based on his peculiar age and his abilities to do certain things just as people in real life can be judged by others because of their age and rathe for not they are capable of doing certain things. A more specific example of the complications of age is the problems that are presented in Benjamin’s relationship with Hildegarde because of their growing contrast in age. As Benjamin grew younger and Hildegarde grew older she became less interesting to Benjamin as it was stated, “At that time Hildegarde was a woman of thirty-five, with a son, Roscoe, fourteen years old. In the early days of their marriage Benjamin had worshipped her. But, as the years passed, her honey-colored hair became an unexciting brown, the blue enamel of her eyes assumed the aspect of cheap crockery--moreover, and, most of all, she had become too settled in her ways, too placid, too content, too anaemic in her excitements, and too sober in her taste. As a bride it been she who had "dragged" Benjamin to dances and dinners--now conditions were reversed. She went out socially with him, but without enthusiasm, devoured already by that eternal
inertia which comes to live with each of us one day and stays with us to the end” (Fitzgerald 12-13). As explained in the quote above things have changed between Benjamin and Hildegarde from when they first met. Benjamin is getting progressively younger and Hildegarde is getting older. She is no longer the same young, attractive woman that Benjamin first met and he is becoming less and less interested in her. As the two begin to age in different directions they become less and less compatible, leading to the demise of their relationship. That is often why people today that are in relationships with a large age gap tend to have difficulties at times relating to getting along with each other. People at certain ages enjoy different things and when one’s partner is not around the same age as them self problems begin to arise.

Posted by: Lawrence Watt at October 5, 2015 02:57 PM

Zekeriya Kayaselcuk

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 09

October 5, 2015


Question: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” what is ironic about Benjamin marrying a “younger” woman? What does the story reveal about our perceptions of age and beauty?

Answer: Technically Benjamin never married a younger woman. Benjamin was of the same age as his wife but looked older in appearance. As Benjamin was getting younger, he seemed to lose interest in Hildegard because she was aging. “She was a woman of forty now, with a faint skirmish line of gray hairs in her head. The sight depressed him.” (Fitzgerald pg. 13). At first people were sad for young Hildegard marrying a man at the age of 50. Towards the end of the story, the people were now sad for young Benjamin marrying an old woman. “What a pity! A young fellow that age tied to a woman of forty-five. He must be twenty years younger than his wife.” (Fitzgerald pg. 14). As people age, they begin to lack beauty, but the importance of age and beauty can differ from a man to a woman.

Posted by: Zekeriya Kayselcuk at October 5, 2015 03:19 PM

Shania Bienaime
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
3 October 2015


Question: THEME: What does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” teach readers about the nature of age?

Answer: The story teaches readers that aging is uncontrollable. Also, that people cannot always have what they want in life and they have to play with the cards that they are dealt with whether it’s like Benjamin’s case of age or if it’s any kind of sickness or problem going on in their life. For example when Benjamin was trying to explain to the registers office that he was of age they didn’t believe him based on his look but there was nothing he could do about it because it is not normal and it wouldn’t be a shock if the world didn’t believe him (Fitzgerald 9). The story depicts the life of a reverse aging man, But he has experience and then slowly loses it as he gets younger (older) but doesn’t this mean that there is always something to learn and that life is short no matter if its backwards or not so learning and gaining experience should be some type of value.

Posted by: shania at October 5, 2015 03:29 PM

Randawnique Coakley
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 121 Academic Writing II CA 06
17 February 2016

Question: IRONY/TONE: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how does the author employ humor in the story? In what ways is the idea of someone aging in reverse inherently humorous? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: In the “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, Fitzgerald present a story of an old man who ages backward. This is rather ironic because it is opposite of what is expected. It is conventional for humans to age, growing from being an infant to old person and it is expected to give birth to a baby not an old man. This is rather odd and it is totally against convention, and this irony in itself makes the story humorous. An example where the humor oozes of the page is when Fitzgerald writes that “wrapped in a voluminous white blanket, and partly crammed into one of the cribs, there sat an old man apparently about seventy years of age (Fitzgerald 3).” This image of an large, old man crammed in a crib meant for a tiny baby is ridiculous and border-line farcical. This image creates humor and adds to the ridiculous nature of the narrative.

Posted by: Randawnique Coakley at February 17, 2016 10:45 PM

Vincia Mitchell
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing 11 CA06
17 February 2016

Question: POINT-OF-VIEW: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” What is the effect of the first-person narration, and why does the narrator reveal himself so minimally? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: Fitzgerald’s use of the first-person narration in his story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, had a positive effect on his reader(s). He situates himself in the story by indicating to the reader that he will reveal what happened, and allow the reader to judge for him/herself (Fitzgerald 1). In doing this, he hopes that the reader will gain an understanding of what took place through his eyes and later make their own judgements. Even though Fitzgerald uses the first-person narrative, the story was somewhat third-person narrative since he revealed himself minimally and disclosed the actions of the characters. In doing so, he hopes that his readers will consider his story to be objective rather than subjective. Thereby accepting the information, he provides about Benjamin Button to be truthful and unbiased.

Posted by: Vincia Mitchell at February 18, 2016 10:16 PM

Hannah Rowe
Dr. Hobbs
English 122 Academic Writing II CAO6
17 February 2016

“Benjamin Button”

Q: #3 Is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” funny, tragic, or both?

A: It seems that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is both funny and tragic. The humor begins as soon as the reader pictures poor Mr. Button walking in on his seventy old child ,” partially crammed into one of the cribs” (Fitzgerald 3). It continues as Mr. Button has to buy clothes for his “baby” in the boys section, explaining to the clerk that his six-hour-old child is “exceptionally large” ( 5). However, as the story progresses, readers feel terrible for Benjamin Button, as Benjamin tries to fit in with other boys who enjoy things like toy trains and marbles; these things greatly disinterest Benjamin. Then, as time goes on, he becomes younger. Because of this, Benjamin barely makes his college football team again, and eventually is so weak he is mistaken for a freshman by some sophomores (14). It is tragic to read about how Benjamin goes from a smart, thriving adult to a small, dependent child-someone he should have been from the beginning

Posted by: Hannah Rowe at February 18, 2016 10:27 PM

Omar Martinez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
18 February 2016

Question: CHARACTER: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how sympathetic are readers to Benjamin’s character? Can readers relate to him at all, despite the peculiarity of his circumstance?

Answer: In the story, everyone thinks it’s his fault that he was aging reversely. And I think readers are sympathetic for Benjamin because he can’t do anything. Everyone resents Benjamin from being different thinking that being different is bad. "You lie! You're an impostor (Fitzgerald 4)!" His father said that because he was in shock, basically doesn’t even want him. When readers read this, we feel bad for Benjamin because what father wouldn’t want their newborn.

Posted by: Omar Martinez at February 18, 2016 11:59 PM

Clark de Bullet
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
19 February 2016

Benjamin Button

Question#1: Does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” have a moral, or attempt to teach its readers a lesson of sorts?

Answer: I could pull away many lessons from this story. The one I would like to focus on is that if one is too different than society then they will truly never fit in. The English Oxford Dictionary defines society as “the community of people living in a particular country or region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations”. When inserting a foreign object into one of these pre-established groups, the others will not accept it. Baby chicks, if it sees a deformed or sickly chick, will peck it to death. That is just how it works. By Benjamin Button never matching in mind and body and aging backwards than the average human causes him to be ostracized. When he tried to enroll at Harvard, “Men ran hatless out of classes, the football team abandoned its practice and joined the mob, professors' wives with bonnets awry and bustles out of position, ran shouting after the procession, from which proceeded a continual succession of remarks aimed at the tender sensibilities of Benjamin Button” (Fitzgerald 9). He wasn’t accepted when he was old or young (3, 17). It was only when he appeared to be normal for his age that society included him (10). But as soon as began to appear abnormal again, he was shut out (15). If one can’t fit into a society, then they should probably find a new one that will accept them.

Posted by: Clark de Bullet at February 19, 2016 02:00 AM

Phillip Moss
Dr. Hobbs
English 122 Academic Writing II CAO6
19 February 2016

Question: CHARACTER: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” how sympathetic are readers to Benjamin’s character? Can readers relate to him at all, despite the peculiarity of his circumstance? Answer in your words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer


Answer: Readers are very sympathetic to Benjamins character because his conflict comes from something he cannot change about himself. Benjamin spends his entire life attempting to “fit in” (something that most readers can relate to) “but he (Benjamin) did these things only because they were expected of him, and because he was by nature obliging”(Fitzgerald 7).

Posted by: Phillip Moss at February 19, 2016 11:08 AM

Jennifer Belcastro
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122-Academic Writing II CA06
19 February 2016

Question: What does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” teach readers about the nature of age?

Answer: Fitzgerald shows that the nature of age is a delicate thing. Many of the people in the town did not understand why Benjamin was born an old man and died as a newborn baby. They would make fun of him or attack him for trying to act his “correct” age. When he applied for college, the registrar said “A man of your age trying to enter here as a freshman. Eighteen years old, are you” (Fitzgerald 9). All he was trying to do was get an education, and the registrar did not understand that he looked older, but he was the correct age. With this story coming out in 1922, showed the world that we should not be quick to judge someone for how they look for their age.

Posted by: Jennifer Belcastro at February 19, 2016 11:51 AM

Matt Scharr
Dr. Hobbs
English 122 CA 06 Academic Writing II
19 February 2016
Question 14.) How is it ironic Hildegarde and Roscoe seem to believe that Benjamin should control his aging?
Answer: It is ironic that Hildegarde and Roscoe believe that Benjamin should control his aging because Benjamin cannot control his aging. Irony is when one thing happens when you expect the complete opposite to happen. So for these two to want Benjamin to control an uncontrollable disease is very ironic. Also this part of the story is significant because it creates a conflict in the story which is a major key to creating a good story.

Posted by: Matt Scharr at February 19, 2016 02:07 PM

Justin Robinson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
19 February 2016

Question: 10.) THEME: How does F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” though written almost a century ago, reflect our society’s current attitude toward age and aging?

Answer: 10.) Our society’s attitude towards age and aging is that everyone should be acting their own age in a sense that we as the human population has decided or put stereotypes on how each person should act at a certain age. Also that growing up children are expected to go to school, get good grades, and go to college, when realistically not all children have that privilege. But in Benjamin Button’s case he was old and aged to a baby, in the story it says, “But Mr. Button persisted in his unwavering purpose. Benjamin was a baby, and a baby he should remain”. (Fitzgerald, 6). This means that he turned to a baby and there is no way for him to turn back.

Posted by: Justin Robinson at February 19, 2016 02:10 PM

Nastassja Sielchan and Matt Scharr
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
18 February 2016

Question: Well-executed short stories usually cover a short period of time. How is it that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” functions well as a short piece, yet covers the course of seventy years?

Answer: In the story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, it explains the life of a boy who ages backward. As he grows older in time, his body only gets younger. Fitzgerald structured this story well by fitting such a long period into a short piece of work. The story is structured with paragraphs, and as each paragraph goes on, Benjamin Button grows older. For example, in Chapter 4, Benjamin is already in high school and says, “That's me! […] I'm a freshman” (Fitzgerald 9).

Posted by: Nastassja Sielchan at February 19, 2016 02:36 PM

Nastassja Sielchan
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
18 February 2016

Question: Well-executed short stories usually cover a short period. How is it that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” functions well as a short piece, yet covers the course of seventy years?

Answer: In the story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, it explains the life of a boy who ages backward. As he grows older in time, his body only gets younger. Fitzgerald structured this story well by fitting such a long period into a short piece of work. The story is structured with paragraphs, and as each paragraph goes on, Benjamin Button grows older. For example, in Chapter 4, Benjamin is already in high school and says, “That's me! […] I'm a freshman” (Fitzgerald 9).

Posted by: Resubmit: Nastassja Sielchan at February 22, 2016 12:30 PM

Chloe Lelliott
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA06
23 February

Question 5)What does F. Scott Fitzgerald's story "the curious case of Benjamin Button" teach readers about the nature of age?

Answer 5)The story teaches readers the significance age has on your life. The fact that Benjamin Buttons age starts high and he gets younger throughout his life makes him and his lifestyle unique. Therefore, when he is first 'born' he becomes great friends with his grandfather because of the common ground of age, as well as this, he meets his wife when they are a similar age, however he gets younger than her and loses interest. This shows us that age plays a big part in your interests and that time in your life and getting younger simply changed him. The story highlights the development we make over years of our lives, going from kinder garden to a full time job to retiring and how we become wiser with age. Generally, the story does a great job in showing how your age fits your current circumstances and visa versa.

Posted by: Chloe Lelliott at February 23, 2016 09:11 PM

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