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Two magnificent cases of Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a story about a man name Benjamin Button who was born with a strange symptom of reverse aging. The short story was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1922 and was adapted into a film in the same name in 2008 by David Fincher. The film is a loose adaptation. Most of the story elements in the literary text are dropped and most elements in the film are added. It uses the literary text as a point of departure.
Narration and plot
Since the story of Benjamin Button is strange and curious because of the abnormal aging process, both the writer and the director had to present the character’s growth differently for the changes in the physical and mental development. However, the short story and the film are different in the ways of telling the story and the development of story and characters, especially Benjamin Button. As the film adaptation is the point of departure, only a few things came from the short story which is the name of Benjamin and the reverse aging. The only similarity is that time is indicated in many paces of Benjamin’s life such as mentioning his age or the date so that the readers and audiences would notice the character’s development as time passes.
The plot of the short story is in chronological order according to the timeline of Benjamin Button so it is like telling Benjamin’s autobiography. It is noticeable that this short story doesn’t seem to have an obvious climax. Although we might get excited and interested in his life stages, the story just goes on and on with no change that leads to the real peak point of his life. Probably because of this curious case that he’s born old already surprises readers at the beginning so that they would know that the rest of the story is going to be different. However, what could be the climax is meeting Hildegarde that leads him to have his own family. After marriage, the readers get to see the falling part of his life. The conflict of the story is always related to the resistance of other characters towards Benjamin. He’s rejected by the establishments as the university and the military because of his age and physicality. At the almost end, Roscoe Button, his own son annoys his demands to do things that doesn’t go with Benjamin’s physicality. Focusing on Benjamin, he doesn’t develop much and doesn’t seem to learn anything from his life. What he does and thinks goes with the age presenting by his physicality but not goes with the age that counts by number. Besides, this story uses magical realism which is the story containing magical elements in the realistic environment. That’s why Benjamin’s abnormality is treated as an outsider, not a monster. The suspense is obviously used only at the beginning of the story to introduce readers to the 70-year old baby. As for the film version, it is differently and wonderfully rearranged and created in the same story of a man born old and has to live his life in reverse. Many dimensions have been added to the plot such as love affair, race, war and religion. The romance is added and plays an important role to create more interest by adding a character, Daisy Fuller. Also, Benjamin’s life is dramatized to make the audience more sympathetic to his poor fate. This Benjamin has the development in both physicality and mentality. The newly creation of dialogue in both the diary and the conversation makes the audience know Benjamin better. Showing his development and thoughts through words makes audience understand why his habit and personality becomes like that unlike Benjamin in the short story. Many characters are added with purpose to have influence on or give some lesson to Benjamin. All of these make the plot of film having a lot to do. It has to present the life of Benjamin that connects with many characters and situations. Moreover, the plot about love is created well and...
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