Literary Comparison Essay
Flowers for Algernon VS Awakenings
Most of us feel that we're “different” in one way or another at some point in our lives. Being different, however, is not always the “bad” thing that we sometimes imagine it to be. In fact, Charles Evans Hughes once said, “When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.” Literature often portrays differences as a good thing, too. In Flowers for Algernon, for example, vary from others, that person still has value and worth. Likewise, the movie Awakenings sends a similar message in the character of Leonard. Interestingly enough, even though the first story is science fiction and the second is based on real life events, Flowers for Algernon and Awakenings have more in common than first meets the eye. Surprisingly, Charlie and Leonard's stories are much more similar than it may seem. Firstly, they both suffer from a disease that holds them back. Charlie, who has a lack of an ability to learn, has always longed for knowledge. Leonard, who suffers from encephalitis, a disease that affects brain activity and the Central Nervous System, is holding Leonard back. He compares the disease to being stuck in a cage and there was no way to get out. Their stories also intertwine by their yearning for their independence. Charlie and Leonard both believe that the Doctors are holding them back. Another similarity they have is that after their treatments they both showed symptoms of their old diseases returning rapidly. Charlie began showing signs of his mental issues returning. Leonard, like Charlie, showed sign of his deterioration although Charlie's death was foreshadowed, unlike Leonard's. Leonard's physical state rapidly declined, so unlike Charlie, Leonard's disease return was much more visible. Charlie and Leonard both had difficult lives, but even with emotional and physical disabilities they tried their hardest to surpass them and live their lives as they...
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