Wednesday, May 18, 2016

"Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes

How does Charlie change by the end of the novel? What does he come to learn about the gifts of superior intelligence? What trade-offs are involved as Charlie develops his genius... and, again, as he begins to revert to his previous state? How do the friendships and relationships he has change as well?

For more information about Daniel Keyes, check out:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember reading Flowers for Algernon in high school (and so did many others when I told them about the book ) I believe it only affected me about 1/10 as much as it did this time – it’s amazing what life experience and getting older can do for one’s perspective! I had to put the book down at several points - just needing a break from the sad emotions the book evoked. I realized that I was interpreting Charlie’s knowledge of his impending loss of intelligence as a metaphor for getting older and knowing that you are declining! In high school, I believe I just read it quickly and was not personalizing the story for myself (maybe because I was 17 and not 50) !

Overall, the book sparks contemplation about how the mentally challenged are treated in society (at least we are politically correct these days not to say “mongoloid or retarded”), and also about awareness of a progressive condition and how one handles it. Too much of a good thing like intelligence can have its drawbacks especially without the social skills to allow the person to function in society.