| Quote #7
"But just think how it would be if every one else looked at things as you do – what would the world be like?"
This is an interesting authorial judgment – that Hildegarde’s question is "inane and unanswerable." The author seems to be directing us away from certain reactions to Benjamin’s circumstance.
| Quote #8
"Look!" people would remark. "What a pity! A young fellow that age tied to a woman of forty-five. He must be twenty years younger than his wife." They had forgotten – as people inevitably forget – that back in 1880 their mammas and papas had also remarked about this same ill-matched pair. (1.8.14)
In other words, while Benjamin is changing and everyone around him is aging, there is still one thing that never changes: the social fear of what is different.
| Quote #9
In 1920 Roscoe Button's first child was born. During the attendant festivities, however, no one thought it "the thing" to mention, that the little grubby boy, apparently about ten years of age who played around the house with lead soldiers and a miniature circus, was the new baby's own grandfather. (2.1.1)
Remember Benjamin’s affinity with his own family at the beginning of the story. There is indeed something cyclic about the nature of Benjamin’s unusual life.