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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Society and Class Theme

In many ways, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" criticizes and even satirizes the social concerns of the upper class. In the face of an extraordinary occurrence, all that any of these socialites can do is worry about its impact on their social positions. The fear of what is different is strong – reputation is kept in tact primarily through conformity. Fitzgerald makes it clear, however, that at the end of the day, being accepted into the circles of the socially elite has more to do with money than anything else.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. How would you characterize society’s reaction to Benjamin’s circumstance?
  2. Fitzgerald makes a point of detailing Mr. Button’s social status before revealing Benjamin’s circumstances. Why does this matter to the story?
  3. Benjamin and Hildegarde are eventually accepted into society – why? What does this say about social status, in Fitzgerald’s opinion?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

"Benjamin Button" is the story of society’s refusal to accept anyone who is different.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is merely a fantasy story and contains no social commentary on Fitzgerald’s part.

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