The three eternal youths
This is the three physical ages people who are suppose have eternal youth are described as being
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(permanent link) added: 2012-09-04 13:10:03 sponsor: dragonslip (last reply: 2012-09-05 17:10:12)

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Fiction is chocked full of people who for one reason or another have been blessed…. or cursed with eternal youth. The problem with this is that exactly how old is “eternal youth”?

Basically “eternal youth” means “fully physically mature but not subject to the deterioration of age”. The problem you face when casting such a character for a film or even just describing them in a novel is deciding a what age in real life people are fully physically mature but not subject to deterioration of age yet? How would you find out such thing? What does that mean exactly, what qualifies as “deterioration”? Is it even the same for all people? Does it even exist in the real world?

Given the difficulty of saying exactly when the human prime of life is typically when forced to pick an exact age for casting or what ever, people will typicaly go with one of three age ranges

[[Number one, ages 16-21]]

despite patchy facial hair and skinniness being evidence to the contrary, writers often choose late adolescence as the age of eternal youth because the typical path from the cradle to the grave in western civilisation make it feel like it is owing to it being the one time in your life for many, when you’re allowed to enjoy adult pleasures like sex or drinking but yet at the same time don’t have very many responsibilities like a family or financial independence, to worry about.

[[Number two, age 25]]

Twenty five is often the age of eternal youth because common sense it’s around that sort of age

[[Number three, ages 35-50]]

despite the odd gray hair and wrinkle, early middle age is often presented to us as the age of eternal youth because often people with internal youth in fiction are meant to be hundreds of years old and very wise and it’s hard to believe a person’s wise if it looks like they need to take an ID to get into bars

Examples (Number one):

Literature
  • in the Ringworld books we’re told that by the 29th century mankind has developed a drug that prevents people aging past physical maturity which apparently is reached at 19 according to the descriptions of Louis Gridley Wu
  • although the characters in Logan’sRun don’t have eternal youth they do all get killed when they reach the end of physical youth which is apparently at 21

Examples (Number two):

film
  • the film In Time is set in a world where nobody ages past 25 physically and has to buy more time past that age to avoid being murdered by the state
  • the film Immortals somewhat unusually casts young looking actors to play the Greek gods


literature
  • in The Riverworld books every human who ever lived is revived on an alien plant after death with their youth restored. People are described as looking 25 years old

Examples (Number three):

film
  • john In The Man from Earth is suppose to be a somewhat wise 14000 year old man and stopped aging at 35
  • most of the immortals in the Highlander franchise fall within this range

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