“Who wants to live forever?” Freddy Mercury sang in the famous soundtrack of the well-known film Highlander. And, “who wouldn’t?” Gulliver might have thought when he knew about the existence of the struldbrugs, although he changed his mind after having known the cruel reality of those people from Luggnagg.
However, we can’t blame Gulliver for those thoughts. All of us can imagine what wonderful things we could make if we were able to avoid death. As the English traveller imagined, a lot of wealth, knowledge and social prestige would be easy to achieve in our everlasting life.
Benjamin Button’s case is more complicated, and I think it’s also more original in the history of people’s literature. It’s a fact that there has always been, in many cultures and religions throughout the history, the idea of eternal life, although that life was lived after death, while I had never heard about a similar case to Benjamin Button’s before I read that story.
However, a life lived backward isn’t a very inviting thing. We can say that if you are an immortal person, you are also a strange person, but at least you can live your first eighty or one hundred years as a normal human being, while if you live backward, you’ll be weird during all your life.
At any rate, if we think about the struldbrugs, all of us would rather live like Benjamin Button than be buried in life for all the eternity without family, friends, or memories.
ISAAC CERNUDA RUBIO