Flowers For Algernon, Daniel Keyes
By Patsy Asamoah-Addo
Flowers For Algernon showcases a look into how life is with a disability. Charlie is in his mid 30s and was born with a very low IQ. Algernon is a lab mouse. Charlie was chosen by a group of scientists to undergo an experimental surgery to make him and Algernon smarter. They make him keep a journal and write "Progress Reports" about everything that happens on a certain day. As Charlie becomes smarter, he realizes that he is deeply attracted to Alice, and though she shares the same feelings with him, she insists on "keeping it professional". Charlie starts to grow closer to Alice after being fired from the bakery. The workers didn't appreciate the sudden change in him and Donner realized that Charlie no longer needed his charity, so he let him go.
The scientists in charge of this experiment, Dr.Strauss and Professor Nemur, take Charlie and Algernon to a science convention in Chicago. Charlie has become very frustrated with Nemur due to his neglect to recognize that Charlie is a human being, too. After wreaking havoc at the convention, he frees Algernon and goes back to New York, when he realizes that Nemur's hypothesis had an error and that the rise in intelligence and IQ will only be temporary. After finding the error, he calls this the "Algernon-Gordon Effect" and after a while, he slowly goes back to his old self. He returns to the bakery for a little bit and shows up to Alice's class for retarded adults, which she was upset by. Returning to his lower IQ may have caused him to forget about any romantic relations he had with Alice or anyone.
Charlie decides to break away from everyone in his life and he checks himself into a home for disabled adults. At the end of the book, he writes, "please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard" (Keyes 311)
Conflict/Resolution (Character vs Self) (Character vs Society) (Character vs Nature)
- "Flowers for Algernon (Charlie)." (2000). Rotten Tomatoes, 20 Feb. 2000. Web. 13 May 2016
Liddle, Madhulika. "Charly (1968)." Dustedoff. N.p., 21 Sept. 2013. Web. 13 May 2016.
Hiltz, Allison. "Classics Club #8 - Flowers for Algernon." The Book Wheel. N.p., 03 Jan. 2014. Web. 13 May 2016.
- Www.tcm.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2016.