Thursday, August 16, 2012

#23- Flowers For Algernon By Daniel Keyes

#23- Flowers For Algernon

Rating- 7.5/10

I may have been one of the only Americans who wasn't assigned this book in school growing up, so although I had heard of the story and knew many people who read it, I had never opened the spine of the book until this week.

The story follows a man named Charlie, a mentally retarded man with an IQ of 68. It's written from the point of view of Charlie, in "Progress Report" formats.

The first few reports introduce Charlie as a character and explain that he is a 32 year old man who works at a bakery, has wonderful friends there, has a room of his own, and studies reading and writing at classes offered from Beekman college for adults like him.

The first thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the fact that because it was written from his point of view, the progress reports were written like those of a man with a low IQ, they had grammar and spelling mistakes and were written poorly, I felt like it made me understand the character better to see how he would really have been living life.

A few progress reports in we are explained that Charlie was suggested to be a part of a program, he goes to a science lab and meets a mouse named Algernon, who is smarter than your average mouse, he is able to solve complex problems in order to receive food. Charlie is then explain that Algernon was given a surgery in order to enhance his IQ and they are hoping to do the very same thing to Charlie with his mothers approval.

After the approval of family Charlie undergoes the surgery and everything goes exactly as planned, within weeks he is smarter. The progress reports get more advanced with new words and grammar structures, but then Algernon starts to regress. Will this happen to Charlie as well?

Overall I thought that the book was very well written with relatable characters and a story that was enticing. I rated it a 7.5 due to several parts that I found slow in the middle of the book, but still completely worth reading for the message that was learned behind it. Sometimes, its not intelligence that makes you a smart man... 

“I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.” - Flowers For Algernon

1 comment:

  1. What page number is the quote "I don't know what's worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you've always wanted to be, and feel alone."

    Thank you


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