The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Life, Consciousness, and Existence Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
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... (1.5.24)
Look at how the force of Benjamin’s emotion has taken over the prose here. The narrative tone has, until now, been somewhat satirical. But now the tone seems to be quite different.
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. The almost forgotten story of Benjamin's birth was remembered and sent out upon the winds of scandal in picaresque and incredible forms. It was said that Benjamin was really the father of Roger Button, that he was his brother who had been in prison for forty years, that he was John Wilkes Booth in disguise – and, finally, that he had two small conical horns sprouting from his head. (1.6.1)
Again we see that people shun Benjamin simply because he is different. Being born old is the same as having horns on one’s head, because both are abnormal.
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. (1.7.7)
Lines like this one remind us that "Benjamin Button" isn’t just a silly fantasy story. It develops a real commentary on mortality and human life.