Flowers For Algernon
The Book, "Flowers For Algernon", was an exciting science
fiction novel. The main characters of the story are
Charlie, a mentally retarded individual who is involved in
a remarkable experiment which increased his I.Q., Alice, a
special education teacher at Beekman College who taught
Charlie how to read and write, the Professors who performed
the experiment on Charlie, Fay, one of Charlie's
acquaintances whom he meets as the book progresses, and
The novel is exciting and contains very original material.
The moods which the reader experiences are sorrow, anger,
and guilt. In the story, Charlie, is subject to an
experiment which increases his intelligence. He agrees to
it because he believes that once he knows more, he will be
able to gain friends. Unfortunately some of his hopes are
A character who did not make much of an appearance, but
played a very important part in helping Charlie sort out
his past and figure out his present and future plans, was
Fay. She is an artist whose views on life can be rarely be
found in an individual and she helps Charlie reveal his
physical and emotional capabilities.
Charlie is a mentally retarded person who has impressed
people because his main ambition is to gain many friends.
At one point, he hears of an experiment which could
possibly make him smart. He makes himself subject to this
human experiment with the hope of gaining knowledge on how
to make friends. As the book progresses, Charlie goes
through dramatic changes mentally, and instead of being
helped, he actually is looked on in the same way if not
worse. For example, at Charlie's old work, his "friends"
made fun of him, but at the same time, enjoyed his company
because he had amused them. After the operation, Charlie
discovers that he had not made his friends like him more,
but in actuality, had pushed them away. Charlie understood
now what his friends had done to him in the past, and
starts to look down upon them.
Alice, Charlie's teacher, is the person who introduced
Charlie to the idea of giving the experiment a chance. She
believes that Charlie has the determination, desire, and
will power to make the experiment work. She then, later on
in the book, gets emotionally involved with Charlie and
helps Charlie learn more about himself.
Algernon, is a lab animal who undergoes the same
experiment. This results in him being smarter than the
average mouse. Algernon also plays a very important part in
the novel because he represents Charlie and foreshadows
what will happen to Charlie later on in the book.
There are many exciting parts which occur in the book. One
incident which proved to be the most memorable one was
when Charlie had been trying to find out what had gone
wrong in the experiment before the inevitable happened to
him. After he had discovered what had gone wrong he had
started to descend down the escalator of intelligence. He
desperately tried to recover his intelligence but was
unsuccessful. It was the same as trying to walk up an
escalator that is going down.
The only thing that I do not agree with is how the book
concludes. The conclusion of the book in my eyes leaves the
reader hanging like... this. If I would make a change I
would write about what happened after Charlie Gordon's
death. An example of this would be possible progress and
success in the field, or maybe because of the events which
had occurred in the past in this field, the experiment was
discontinued, or maybe Fay or Alice had conceived a child
who grew older, pursued his/her father's theory/discovery
which in turn leads into a sequel.
If anyone were to ask me if they should read "Flowers For
Algernon", I would recommend it highly. It makes the
reader realize how a mentally retarded person feels, and
thinks. This book has made me realize just how much more
determination a mentally retarded person could possibly
have, and made me realize just how lucky I am.
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