Flowers for Algernon


“The story of Charlie in Flowers for Algernon opens our minds to other people and other worlds. “

Imagine how you would feel if you were always being treated as though you were not human, as though you were different to everyone else, as though you didn’t belong in this world, as though you could never learn the simplest of tasks? Everyone wants to be loved. No one likes it when somebody displays hatred, disgust or racism towards yourself or another person. Everyday people that are outskirts of the society are being deprived of love, understanding, generosity and thoughtfulness without even doing anything wrong. They didn’t ask to be like that, it’s something that is left uncontrollable yet they are blamed and isolated for acting so unusual. We continue to treat people different for their differences but aren’t we all meant to be special in our own way and equal?

Daniel Keyes writing this emotional and impacting story of Charlie “Flowers for Algernon” has opened up our minds to less fortunate people and to realise about other worlds. It shows how someone special is treated differently day in day out by the remaining society. The main character, Charlie, is a 32 year old mentally retarded man. Charlie is portrayed as a friendly, eager and hardworking adult that struggles with learning difficulties diagnosed as a mental illness. As a result of this he is given the chance to become part of an experiment undergoing surgery to increase his intelligence.

At first Charlie is seen as a retard that cleans floors and toilets but then gradually makes his way up to become a genius through surgery learning a various amount of foreign languages and even outsmarting the scientists. After undertaking tests using pictures, words and mazes he is selected for the surgery. A few days after surgery, his brain becomes much like a sponge and is able to pick up and memorise the smallest details. It follows Charlie recording dramatic physical, verbal and mental changes...