Flowers for Algernon
Flowers for Algernon, is a science fiction novel written by Daniel Keys. The story is taking place in the mid 1960’s. The text is representing a diary written by the main character, 37-year-old Charlie Gordon. He is uncommonly unintelligent, which influences his life, especially the social part. Although he is stupid, he has an incredible drive for learning. This desire probably has something to do with his night schoolteacher, Miss Kinnian, who he adores. He loves his job as a janitor, but his colleagues are laughing at him every day. Lucky for Charlie he is naive enough for believing that they are laughing with him.
Two Doctors, Dr Strauss and Dr. Nemur, are making an experiment, where they will operate the mouse, Algernon, and a human being to test if it is possible to triple their intelligence. For this, they choose Charlie, and of course, he is gladly at their service because now he can learn even more, which is exactly why they wanted him. But of course they also have their own agendas. Dr. Nemur feels pressured by his wife to make a lot of money, and to be very successful. The operation succeeds, and Algernon and Charlie’s intelligence is getting higher and higher. But Charlie discovers some downsides of him suddenly being so smart. He gets fired from his job, and the explanation is seen in this piece at p.8 l.37: “You used to be a good, dependable, ordinary man—not too bright maybe, but honest. Who knows what you done to yourself to get so smart all of a sudden. Like everybody around here’s been saying, Charlie, it’s not right.” “But how can you say that, Fanny? What’s wrong with a man becom¬ing intelligent and wanting to acquire knowledge and understanding of the world around him?” She stared down at her work and I turned to leave. Without looking at me, she said: “It was evil when Eve listened to the snake and ate from the tree of knowledge. It was evil when she saw that she was naked. If not for that none of us would...
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