The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
How we cite our quotes:
In 1880 Benjamin Button was twenty years old, and he signalized his birthday by going to work for his father in Roger Button & Co., Wholesale Hardware. It was in that same year that he began "going out socially" – that is, his father insisted on taking him to several fashionable dances. Roger Button was now fifty, and he and his son were more and more companionable – in fact, since Benjamin had ceased to dye his hair (which was still grayish) they appeared about the same age, and could have passed for brothers. (1.5.1)
And when Benjamin was "older," he preferred his grandfather’s company. His father’s relationship to him is now more of a friendship than a parent-child dynamic.
In vain General Moncrief pointed out to her the high mortality among men of fifty – or, at least, among men who looked fifty; in vain he told her of the instability of the wholesale hardware business. Hildegarde had chosen to marry for mellowness, and marry she did.... (1.6.4)
What does it mean that Hildegarde married "for mellowness"? And why does Benjamin marry Hildegarde? Are these reasonable foundations for a marriage?
Benjamin went to live with his son, Roscoe. But though he was welcomed in a general way there was obviously no heartiness in Roscoe's feeling toward him – there was even perceptible a tendency on his son's part to think that Benjamin, as he moped about the house in adolescent moodiness, was somewhat in the way. Roscoe was married now and prominent in Baltimore life, and he wanted no scandal to creep out in connection with his family. (1.9.6)
"Benjamin Button" reminds us that family plays a large role in social status.