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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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