Flowers for Algernon- Qualities That Surpass Intelligence.

Topics: Flowers for Algernon, Novel, Daniel Keyes Pages: 4 (702 words) Published: January 26, 2011
Flowers for Algernon Culminating Task- Qualities That Surpass Intelligence

Flowers for Algernon, is a classic novel written by Daniel Keyes a young mentally

challenged man named Charlie Gordon. This book chronicles, from a first person point

of view, Charlie’s mental and physical struggles and achievements after undergoing a

breakthrough procedure that is hoped to render him intelligent. Throughout the book,

much of the focus is on Charlie’s academic progress while his emotional and personal

development is not much of a concern. This becomes a problem because Charlie realizes

that it is important to demonstrate qualities other than intelligence to lead a life that is

both happy and successful. Qualities shown to be more important than intelligence in

Flowers for Algernon are: patience, kindness and respect.

Throughout Flowers for Algernon, patience is often shown to be a more important

quality in character than intelligence. Starting from the beginning when Charlie was still

mentally challenged, people never seemed to be patient with him. If they had taken the

time to get to know and understand him they would have seen that he had a good heart

and genuine personality. This also applies to our everyday life. We must be patient and

try to understand others before we begin to judge them. Charlie also demonstrated the

negative consequences of a lack of patience when his intelligence began to surpass that of

those around him, “I was afraid it would come to this, but I have no patience with her

Simon 1 now. I’m jealous of every moment away from the work- impatient with anyone…”(Keyes

295). You can clearly see that due to his lack of patience with anyone around him, he is in

a state of upset and distress. That is how patience is shown to be more important than...
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