Major Project AGNG 415 Spring 2020 Letter to the Character in the Book/Movie Paper The draft and final paper should be between 10-12 pages. The purpose of this assignment is to help students mindfully read a novel or view of movie about older adults and how the book/movie and to mindfully and critically think about an older character in the movie or book. These instructions are also listed under Assignments on Bb. The paper is broken down into the following steps/assignments and will include the grading of writing: Selection of movie or book and at least nine scholarly references such as books and/or academic/professional journal articles. You should obtain three scholarly references for each of the three aging-related themes in your book or movie (5 pts, 5% of final grade) Draft of the paper: 10-12 pages in length (16 pts, 5% of final grade) Final paper: 10-12 pages in length (16 pts 20% of final grade) Part One (Due 2.17) for this assignment, you will do the following: 1) Select and read a book or view a movie from the approved list Tuesdays with Morrie (Movie or Book) Water for Elephants (Movie or Book) Amour (2012, Movie) Driving Miss Daisy (1989, Movie) How to Make An American Quilt (1995, Movie) Grumpy Old Men (1993, Movie) Iris (2001, Movie) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008, Movie) Grandma (2015, Movie) Quartet (2012, Movie) 2) Identify at least three aging-related themes in your book or movie which pertain to your older main character in your book or movie may include but are not limited to the following: Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease Family caregiving Friendships Marriage and intimate relationships Intergenerational relationships Work and retirement Wisdom, creativity, generativity Health and wellness 3) Obtain nine scholarly references, three references for each aging-related theme in your book or movie You will need at least three scholarly references for each aging-related theme in your selected book or movie, for a total of nine references. The references should be no more than five years old. If you need help finding references, please see a reference librarian. This is to be submitted to Bb. To search for scholarly references on your three aging-related theme, please  do the following: 1. Go to

2. Click on Databases in the upper center of the webpage

3. Type in the database you wish to use such as PsycInfo, MedLine, Social Work Abstracts, CINAHL, or other database.

4. Click on PsycInfo or whatever database you wish to use when it appears.

5. Type in your search terms. These should be your aging-related themes (for example, dementia, family caregiving, ageism, coping in aging, health promotion in aging, friendships in aging, intergenerational relationships and aging, etc. ) and click on Search. References should appear on the webpage. Scroll down the page to see which references you feel are most relevant to your aging-related themes You can click on the title of each reference for more info and an abstract. If you have questions about or need help obtaining scholarly references, the reference librarian can help You can access the reference librarian online by going to, go to the right side of the page, Still Have Questions and click on Ask a Librarian. Also, you may call the library at 410-455-2232 to request assistance from the reference librarian PART TWO Due 3/30 Draft of Paper. Worth 16 pts and 5% of your final grade. The draft should be between 10-12 pages in length. The instructions for the draft and final paper are the same. The draft (and final paper) is in the form of a letter to an older character in your book or movie which you selected from the approved list of books and movies for this assignment. Upon viewing the movie or reading the book, you’ll need to select an older main character, identify three aging-related themes as these pertain to your older main character in your book or movie, and obtain three scholarly references for each of these themes. Then you’ll write your paper in the form of a letter to your older character and discuss each aging-related theme by using examples from the movie and your scholarly references for each theme. You’ll receive feedback on your draft and have the opportunity to revise it and submit your final paper. Outline of PAPER Introduction of Letter/Paper (1.5 pt) Begin with Dear ______:

State why you are interested in him/her as an older adult character and what it is about him/her as a character that spoke to you.

Discuss what impressed you about the character’s physical appearance such as clothing, way of speaking, acting, walking, and how you think these may reflect the character’s sense of self (especially as an older adult and the character’s social roles such as older mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, worker, retiree, etc,).

Describe your reactions to the character’s appearance and roles and how these were agestereotypical or not. Provide at least 2-3 examples of this from the book or movie. In the last sentence of your introduction, mention the main ideas your letter/paper will address. These are the three aging-related themes in the book/movie and how the three scholarly references on these  themes will help you to more fully understand them. Body of Letter/Paper (10 pts)

Identify and discuss at least three aging-related themes in the movie (e.g. themes that pertain to physical, social, family, spiritual, economic, cultural aspects of aging) and provide at least three examples of each theme. Then discuss each theme using the three scholarly references for each of these. Conclusion (1.5 pt)

Briefly summarize the most important things you learned from the movie and from this character, especially as this relates to aging. Briefly describe what you learned about yourself from this assignment. (3 pts for Writing) Part 3) FINAL Paper due no later than 5/11. Format is the same as above. Addressing and expanding notes shared on your draft is strongly encouraged.

Transformation/aging/younging This movie emphasizes that personality is followed by physical changes. The elderly are usually set in their ways and less lively while the youth are more emotional and eager to learn. Transformation allows us to learn more about ourselves. We see what doesn’t change as well. Benjamin realizes very quickly that life was not fair.

Questions I formed after watching the film

1. What does Benjamin learn through the course of his odd life?

2. What sort of impact does Benjamin have on those around him? 3. How does Benjamin’s rather odd transformation comment on the normal aging process the rest of us undergo? -Benjamin’s odd condition makes it impossible for the reader to relate to him. -Despite Benjamin’s peculiar condition, he’s quite a relatable character.

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the case in “Benjamin Button.” Because Benjamin is different, his parents have difficulty accepting him for who he is. They are able to love him only in so far as he plays along with a charade of normality. Later, Benjamin encounters the same problem with his wife, and eventually, his son. Still, if they are unable to love him unconditionally, they are still there for Benjamin out of a sense of family obligation.

Questions I formed after watching the film

4. What role do Benjamin’s parents play in this story? What about that of his wife and child, in the latter half of the tale? 5. Do Benjamin’s parents love their child? 6. Benjamin loses interest in his wife and child as he grows younger. As readers, do we judge him for this? Or do we understand that it’s part of his condition?

-Because of his condition, Benjamin is essentially alone for his entire life. -Despite his condition, Benjamin makes meaningful connections with those around him.

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” explores the nature of life, death, and aging in the rest of us. This story poses several questions: what does age really reflect of a person? What is the value of youth, and what is the value of experience? How do we deal with our own mortality and how does the knowledge of our own impending deaths affect the way we live our lives? These are the questions examined in this bittersweet story.

Questions I formed after watching the film 7. How does Benjamin die? How does Fitzgerald treat the end of Benjamin’s life, and what effect does this have on the story’s tone? 8. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is the story of something extraordinary; but what does it have to say about “normal” life?
9. Fitzgerald writes that Benjamin quite simply “took life as he found it” (1.3.6). How is that Benjamin is able to so calmly accept what is happening to him?

Benjamin makes the most of the life he is given.

Benjamin is unable to enjoy his life because of his condition

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is the story of a man who is born old and ages backwards. The story explores the way that age dictates identity; how old we are has quite a bit to do with who we are. And not just where physical appearance is concerned. By being born old, Benjamin is born not just with the body and face of an old man, but with the mind and emotions of an old man. Even though he’s a newborn, then, he enjoys the company of old men. As he gets younger physically, his personality changes accordingly: he becomes more vivacious and social. “Benjamin Button” reminds us that age is not, after all, just a number.

Questions I formed after watching the film 10. What aspects of identity does age define in this story? 11. How does Benjamin deal with his odd aging process? 12. When Benjamin is born, what aspects of him are “old,” and which are “young”? “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” argues that age has more to do with mindset than anything physical.

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” argues that the age of one’s mind is entirely dictated by the age of one’s body.

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Benjamin experiences death frequently throughout his life. First off, he is raised in a care home for the elderly, where he saw people die almost everyday, and learned a lot from Queenie about death itself and what it means. He learns to cherish everyone before he grows too “young” to appreciate them.

Benjamin had never thought about death the way that Queenie had expressed it to him. It gave him a new perspective that he took with him for the rest of his life. Throughout the movie, he experiences even more deaths–the death of his father, and the death of Queenie. When Benjamin is reunited with his father after all the years living apart, he could have been angry, bitter, and upset because of the fact that he was abandoned as a baby. Instead, he is more calm, understanding, and loving because of what Queenie had taught him early on in life, and because of the fact that he had experienced death so much. He knew how to act and what it felt like to lose someone. Benjamin knows his father is going to die and he decides to use the last moments to build whatever relationship he possibly can, instead of being bitter and un-accepting of his own father for the rest of his life. Benjamin learned to look at the positives out of the worst situations. Going through difficult situations like death and loss helped him grow, understand, and prosper as a human being– one of the main points of the film.

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