Flowers For Algernon

By Daniel Keyes

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Charley Gordon is a 32 year old man who is mentally challenged. He goes to a mental institution but is not having much success. When two of the scientists create an implant that can make someone smart they needed a test subject and Charley was the perfect fit. After the procedure Charley didn't realize much happening. Eventually he got smarter as he read more books, and completed more "puzzles". Algernon is a mouse that had the same procedure as charlie but it was done a few weeks earlier. Together Algernon and Charley race each other through mazes. At first before charlie had the procedure he could not beat Algernon. After the procedure, and some hard work, Charley was able to excel past Algernon. He was getting smarter and smarter, day after day, until he was finally able to be presented to the world. At one of their first conventions Charly got a little angry at how the scientists showed him and Algernon of like just simple experiments and not like heroes to the world (which is sort of true because with the tech that Charley and Algernon possess, they could change the world). Charley decided to let Algernon out of his cage. The presentation became chaotic, all the men were trying to find the mouse and all the women were standing on their chairs because they were freaked out. Charly was the first to find Algernon, so together they ran for the plane. They got on a plane and went back home. Charley grabbed money from the bank and they began their life on their own. Charlie rented an apartment and built Algernon a maze so he could keep in shape. When Charley met his neighbor, Fay, he did not find what he expected. He had locked himself out of his apartment and had to go through the fire escape. When he went to use it from Fay's apartment he found that she was #1 a slob and #2 she was careless about her body, she just showed herself to the world. Plus she was a painter (mostly of the wrong things). In no time flat they were good friends and all was well. When the scientists finally found Charlie they made a deal with him.

Character Analisis

Charley barley describes himself other than that he is 32 years old. My guess is that he is a bit huskier. I also think he has brown hair and eyes. His personality seems to not be very funny like most characters. But that is just mostly my thoughts about him.


The main conflict is just simply Charley getting through life. He learns things that most learn at a young age later on when he is in his 30's. In the end he learns that you should not take more than what was given to you (in life).


As I see it there are 2 themes.

  1. You should not take more than what God gives you (Referring to the book of Genesis when eve take and eats from the tree of knowledge).
  2. Don't take education for granted. use what you already have to succeed.

Textual Evidence

The most powerful part of the book is at the very end of it when Charley writes "Anyway I bet Im the frist dumb persen in the world who found out some thing for sience. I did somthing but I Dont remembir what. So I gess its like I did it for all the dumb pepul like me im Warren and all over the world". This shows that even though he doesn't know what he did his is still acknowledging it. This is also my favorite quote.

Book Review

Overall I give this book a 3.5 because of some of the language and scenes with-in. I would only recommend this if I think the person can handle the type of "real life" Charley goes through. The biggest part I like about this book is how much detail there is though out and you can really understand things from Charley's point of view.
Flowers For Algernon Trailer 2013

Work Cited

Keyes, Daniel. "Flowers for Algernon Trailer." You Tube. You Tube, 12 May 2016. Web. 12 May 2016.

Nazarian, Adelle. "Daniel Keyes, 'Flowers for Algernon' Author, Dies at 86 - Breitbart." Breitbart News. Http://, 19 June 2014. Web. 12 May 2016.

Hiltz, Allison. "Classics Club #8 - Flowers for Algernon." The Book Wheel. The Book Wheel, 03 Jan. 2014. Web. 12 May 2016.

Tyshaveyah. "Flowers for Algernon." Glogster. Glogster, 8 Jan. 2012. Web. 12 May 2016.