Flowers for Algernon Essay

Topics: Mental retardation, Intelligence quotient, Human Pages: 3 (971 words) Published: November 6, 2012
Flowers For Algernon: Quarter Four Book Review:

Flowers for Algernon, is a science fiction novel written by Daniel Keys. Taking place in the mid 1960s, the story revolves around Charlie Gordon, a mentally retarded young man from New York, whose life is completely altered when he becomes the test subject for an intelligence science experiment. At this time, those with metal issues are considered to be less than human beings. Flowers For Algernon, is composed of progress reports written by Charlie himself, about his thoughts and life seen through his eyes.

Charlie Gordon, the protagonist, is a thirty-two-year-old man who has been mentally challenged since birth. At the beginning of the story, he has issues understanding people, and is rejected by the public. He speaks in broken sentences, and his writing is full of errors. Those around Charlie often mock and take advantage of him for his differences, but he does not realize it. Nonetheless, he has a warm, friendly personality. Though held back by his mental issues, he is determined to learn, hoping that this will earn him friends and acceptance from others. With great determination, and help from his teacher Miss Kinnian, Charlie learns to read and write. Alice Kinnian works at Beekman College for Retarded Adults. She recommends Charlie to be a test subject for an operation boosting intelligence, because of his motivation to learn. She is a flat character, who stays patient and kind throughout the whole book; keeping Charlie grounded. As Charlie’s intelligence increases he develops feelings for Alice. She tries to help Charlie deal with nightmares and flashbacks he has of his mother, Rose Gorden. Rose was ashamed of her son because he was not normal like other children and constantly beat him.

Charlie Gordon meets Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur, two middle aged men who have created an operation that heightens human intelligence. The process has been successfully tested on lab mice multiple times,...
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