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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Part 1, Section 1 Summary

  • The narrator begins his story in the first person, but doesn’t tell you anything about himself. He’s just here to present a rather incredible tale for you.
  • His story begins in the summer of 1860, with Roger Button and his wife, a socially prominent family in Baltimore.
  • Mrs. Button is having her first baby, and Mr. Button is just arriving at the hospital to meet his child for the first time.
  • Mr. Button is nervous; he hopes his child is a boy so he can send him to his alma mater, Yale.
  • Mr. Button meets his family physician, Doctor Keene, on the steps of the hospital.
  • Doctor Keene is irate and flustered and declares that he wants nothing more to do with the Button family. He quickly drives away.
  • Roger Button goes into the hospital, even more nervous than he was before. The nurse gives him the same attitude as the Doctor.
  • By the time he finally gets to see his child, he sees what all the fuss is about.
  • Mr. Button’s child is a 70-year-old man wrapped in a blanket and crammed into a crib. The "baby" immediately asks Mr. Button, "Are you my father?" (1.1.40) He wants to be taken out of the crib.
  • Mr. Button thinks this is some sort of joke, but the irate nurse assures him it is not.
  • The nurse informs Mr. Button that he will have to take his rather embarrassing child home, as soon as possible.
  • Meanwhile, the "baby" complains that he’s hungry and that the noise of all these screaming babies is bothering him.
  • Roger Button is distraught; he worries mostly about what people will say.
  • The son complains that he needs some clothes other than this blanket, and disregards the nurse’s insistence that "babies always have blankets" (1.1.59).
  • Finally, Mr. Button leaves to buy his son some appropriate clothing.

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