Film And Book Versions Of Benjamin Button English Literature Essay

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The main character in the book differs greatly from the one featured in the movie. first.... second... the only consistent occurence is the unusual reversed aging process. While the book´s character does have the intellectual capacity of an aged man when being an infant it, the movie sports an benjamin button who is an infant in any aspect.

I found the idea of living life backwards and the difficulties and experiences which are linked to such a extraordinary phenomen very appealing. Therefore I wanted to find out more about it and read the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Even though book and film differ in so many ways the main idea is the same and so fascinating that I decided to do my research paper on comparing the book with the movie.

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18." This quote by Mark Twain inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald to write his nouvelle „The curious case of Benjamin Button" in 1922. Just recently in 2008 It has been adapted as motion picture movie directec by David Fincher.

There have been many adaption of literature into films and the quality of the outcome as well as the number of parallels to the original work ofthen differ greatly. The curious case of Benjamin button is a very extreme example and for a long time the nouvelle wasn't even considered to possibly be turned into a movie

As we will see, movie is a very loose adaption of the book, basically, the only consistent occurence in both the movie and book is Benjamin Buttons unusual reversed aging process. Yet not even this is completely similar: while the book´s character of Benjamin Button has the mental age of 80 at the end of his life, the movie's version gives benjamin the mindset of an infant trapped in an 80 year old body.

It will be the concern of this paper to examine both the similiarities and differences between movie and book in detail just as well as the reasons for possibly varying characters and a differing plotline.

Furthermore this research paper will discuss the problems of acceptance of such an unusual case like the ones of benjamin Buttons in society

One main theme in the book is how a new born baby physically and mentally in his 80s is accepted into society. In the short story, which plays in 1860(first few lines"), Benjamin is born in the hospital and right from the beginning one can see how Benjamin is considered to be totally out of the acceptance of that time. When Mr Button arrives at the hospital the doctor even worries about his own reputation : "Do you imagine a case like this will help my professional reputation?

One more would ruin me--ruin anybody." (LINE). Mr Button still unknowing of what happens has to realize that the doctor who brought himself into the world and was a physician to the family over 40 years has no interest in seeing any of the Buttons ever again as he makes clear by saying : „I'm through with you! I don't want to see you or any of your relatives ever again! Good-bye!" (LINE)

It is not only the doctor who is upset it seems like the whole hospital seems to be worried because of this unusual event..

The hospital will never have a ghost of a reputation after----"(LINE) complaint the nurse seconds before she showed Mr Button the way to his new born child.

As soon as he sees what is supposed to be his child which looks like a old man with sparse almost white hair and a long beart and five feet eight inches tall(LINE 3rd ch) he consideres it „some ghastly hospital joke „ (LINE)

But it wasn't and the „old man" even started talking like one and explains Mr Button that his „last name is certainly Button." This statement makes Mr. Button outrages so that he even calls his own son a imposter and lier(LINE). This shows very well how the society back then reacts on out of norm phenomens.

From this moment on Roger Button does everything in his power to threat Benjamin appropriate to his age. He wants to keep the old age of Benjamin a secret and even thinks furher what the best solution would be to do so.

„If, say, he could only find a very large boy's suit, he might cut off that long and awful beard, dye the white hair brown, and thus manage to conceal the worst, and to retain something of his own selfrespect--not to mention his position in Baltimore society ."

Roger Button is determend to keep his illusion alive and deny the obvious which is made very clear by the following words :Benjamin was a „baby, and a baby he should remain"(LINE)

Mr Button tries to confince Benjamin to play with rattles, toy soldiers, stuffed animals and trains, but he wasn' interested in any of them. When he was alone he secretaly smokes cigares and finds more interest in an enzyclopedia than in kid's toys.(FOOTNOTE) Instead of playing with children of his age he finds more pleasure in sitting and talking to his grandfather.

„What the mishap would have cost the Buttons and their kinsfolk socially cannot

be determined" (LINE) But the city's attention is very soon drawn onto other things - the outbreak of the Civil War.

By the age of twelve Benjamin's parents got used to him and even felt that he was not any different from other children. At this time Benjamin also finds out by looking into the mirror that he has grown younger his hair turned in from white to iron-gray the network of wrinkles on his

face became less pronounced and his skin healthier and firmer(LINE)

Later in the book he has once again troubles to find his place into society. This was when Benjamin Button who just passed his entrance examination to Yale college was called into the yale registrar's office to receive his schedule. Benjamin couldn't dy his hair before he entered the office and therefore couldn'T hide his elderly appearance. The registrar first thought he'd be talking to Mr Roger Button. As Benjamin made is case clear and insists of his age of eighten, once again Benjamin meets with his „curse" he has to deal with since his birth.

The idea!" he shouted. "A man of your age

trying to enter here as a freshman. Eighteen years old, are you? Well,

I'll give you eighteen minutes to get out of town."

Being unable to gain a proper education at college because of the social inacceptance of his case he starts working for his father's company Roger Button & Co. It was also the time when Benjamin went out social and met the doughter of General Moncrief, Hildergarde which he marries 6 month later. The story of Benjamin's birth was remembered again but many storie's were made up such as „Benjamin was really the father of Roger Button, that he was his brother who had been in prison for forty years"(LINE) Therefore the real story was forgotten or just so unbelievable that nobody believed it, not even his own wife.

Many years Benjamin was able to life a happy life without having to worry about his physical process which made him appear younger by the day. Until he comes back from the civil war to his wife and has to face that is ongoing younger appearance drives his wife nuts, she honestly believes it's his way of annoying her and she is in the illusion that he could stop his physical process any time he wants.

"But, Hildegarde, I can't help it."

"You can too. You're simply stubborn. You think you don't want to be like any one else." (LINE)

From that time on the gab between them begins to widen. Benjamin keeps getting younger until he is a young boy. He receives a letter from the army asking him, since he served as an officer with a higher rank, during the Spanish-American War to go back into service. He sees this as an oppurtunity to go back in time and do the duty he once enjoyed so much. Again it occures that society is against his will. He arrives the headquarters where he is turned down and sent home considered a little boy who wanted to play soldier.

This also is the last conflict concerning the aspect of society and Benjam's process of becoming younger. From that moment on Benjamin continues living his life backwards going back to kindergarde then under the custidy of a nurse - getting younger and younger until he's finally gone.

The skit of "Benjamin Button" is that the need for social self-preservation plays such a big role,that it blinds everyone from seeing Benjamin's fate for what it is, and for seeing him for who he is.

The social aspect or concerns about someones reputation and how it's influencing the book however is almost absent in the whole movie. In the movie Benjamin appears like a child, but his appearance still is so shocking to Mr. Button (PHOTO) that he grabs the baby wanting to get rid of him It seems like he even attempts to throw the little baby into the river. (9:57) The appearance of a police officer stops that thought and he leaves Benjamin with 18 Dollars on the steps leading to a New Orleans boardinghouse for the elderly , the Nolan House (QUELLE), where Queenie, took him in and raised him like it was her own child. There is no hint in the movie that Mr Button gave his son away for any other reason than its appearance.Mr Button:"I thought you were a monster" (1:43:23)

Characterization (Benjamin

"Humans have always tried to ignore, deceive or curse their mortaility - immortality is the only little piece, it seems sometimes, we just can´t achieve. The bane of the human kind, if you may say. Of course, scientific research, great medical improvements and slightly more comfortable lliving conditions have gotten us a long way. A hunter from the stoneage was a Methusalem when he crossed the thirty-years-line, at the start of the 20th century, 60 was still a decent age to die, now we´re going for the 90 - but we simply cannot outwit death, no matter how fluffy soft couches and heated soles for our shoes we have.

But aren´t we meant to be mortal? Doesn´t this natural process of aging somewhat belong to our life? Where would we want to stop aging? At sixteen, have a willing body forever and later the intellect of a wise old man or lady?

In the movie, Benjamin Button has to overcome several obstacles linked to his reversed aging process such as. the people he constantly sees dying in front of his eyes during his earlier time in the Nolan House, where „death was a common visitor." (25:03) When Benjamin talks about his process about getting younger with one of the residents living in the Nolan House. It's made pretty clear by the words of the resident what heavy burden he has to carry upon his shoulders. „Well I feel sorry for you, you have to see everybody you love die before you do, it's an aweful responibility"(52:47)

In the movie there's also a love story which helps to understand what it means to live a life backwards like Benjamin does.He meets Daisy who is the grandchild of Miss Fall?? and sometimes comes to visit her over the weekends at the Nolan House. Benjamin fells in love with Daisy „ from the first time he saw" her (36:47) But her being only 10 and him physically in his 70's and the mentaly young age of both makes a romance impossible. - At least for this moment. It turns out to be a love story which develops slowly, over the course of many decades. At the age of 17 Benjamin goes on along intense trip on a tugboat. Even though Daisy and Benjamin write each other constantly, many years pass by until the met each other again in the Nolan House in 1945 when Benjamin is 26 years old. Even though Daisy makes strong suggestions to sleep with Benjamin, he turns her down for the reason that she was to be leaving the next morning. This inscident though is not important for the aspect which is discuessed here. It's mentioned here only for the rbetter understanding of the plotline.

However in spring 1962, 19 years later Daisy and Benjamin meet again in New Orleans at the Nolan House where they both fall in love for each other at once.

The fact that Daisy is many years older than Benjamin seems to be irrelevant for quite a long time until the reality of his curse pops back in his life.-->BLABLABLA

Interview : with an understanding that life is just difficult, life is interesting and difficult, and alot of twist and turns no matter what we're in. No matter how strong u finish. ... the hope is that people see it and realize it, this previledge is a complicated thing no matter which way you go.

Will u still love when i have acne when im afraid what's under the bed? Or if I end up wetting the bed?

For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.