The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
How we cite our quotes:
I shall tell you what occurred, and let you judge for yourself. (1.1.1)
The first person narration of "Benjamin Button" gives the proper mood to the story; it announces that here is An Incredible Tale, and asks us to suspend our disbelief from the start.
Nevertheless he persisted in his attitude. He brought home lead soldiers, he brought toy trains, he brought large pleasant animals made of cotton, and, to perfect the illusion which he was creating – for himself at least – he passionately demanded of the clerk in the toy-store whether "the paint would come oft the pink duck if the baby put it in his mouth." (1.3.4)
Mr. Button’s reaction to Benjamin’s circumstance is the opposite of his son's reaction. He lies in denial, in contrast to Benjamin’s calm acceptance.
Benjamin, once he left the hospital, took life as he found it. Several small boys were brought to see him, and he spent a stiff-jointed afternoon trying to work up an interest in tops and marbles – he even managed, quite accidentally, to break a kitchen window with a stone from a sling shot, a feat which secretly delighted his father.
Thereafter Benjamin contrived to break something every day, but he did these things only because they were expected of him, and because he was by nature obliging. (1.4.7-8)
Benjamin’s attitude, described here, is a hallmark of his character. That he so smoothly deals with his circumstances makes his case all the more curious.