I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button the other day. I have a great deal of respect for F. Scott Fitzgerald, and have read several of his books, but must admit that I have never read any of his short stories, including that particular one. Of course I’m now curious, so may take a gander at it at some point. It’s amazing that they were able to turn a short story into an almost 3 hour movie, so now I’m wondering how much padding they added to the actual story.
I can’t imagine living my life backwards. Although that wasn’t really the story at all. It’s not like Benjamin grew up with “lived” ideas and experiences. That would be truly amazing, to be born with the wisdom of living before you’ve even lived a day. I don’t think I would much like that though. It would in a way make life much more meaningless. I think part of life is figuring all that stuff out.
In the movie, even though he was old on the outside, he was still young on the inside. So his life wasn’t very different internally than it would be for anyone else. He still had to learn from his mistakes, struggle with love and death, and live his life as best as he could day by day. I guess the real difference was only in how others perceived him. Until he reached his middle years, and therefore looked like others would look in their middle years, he was different. He was treated differently and therefore felt differently than others his age might.
I thought it was interesting that Benjamin didn’t seem to struggle with what would come next, the way those around him did.( I don’t know if that was part of the story or not.) He wasn’t concerned with “getting older” or even dying the way everyone else around him was. I think that in and of itself made him more open to new and different experiences, and the lack of concern for what he would do in the future. I think that is the one aspect of Benjamin’s life that I wish I could live: a life free of worry or concern for the future; the idea that things will work themselves out as they will because it’s all the same in the end. I do think whether forwards or backwards, life is what we make of it.
I also think it’d be kind of nice to know that physically my body would be getting younger and more physically able rather than the other way around. I think most people don’t mind so much getting old, its more the idea of their body not being what it used to be that is worrisome. It would be a struggle to be a young mind stuck in an old body, but to be an old mind stuck in a young body would be very freeing I think.