Flowers for Algernon: A book that will make you think twice

The book cover of "Flower of Algernon" Photo Credit: Nadia Roa

By Nadia Roa ’18

“Flower for Algernon” won two awards (Nebula Award for Best Novel and Hugo Award for Best Short Story) all thanks to the amazing author, Daniel Keyes. The book was so extraordinary that it was made into a movie, Charly. Cliff Robertson, the actor who played Charlie Gordon, won an oscar for his outstanding performance.

Who is the main character?

Charlie Gordon is a 32-year-old man who can only obtain an IQ of 68, this is until he meets Algernon(a mouse) and a team of psychologist who are committed to making Charlie “smart”.

What sets this book apart from any other book?

You hear the words “science fiction”, and you automatically place the book back in its shelf. But wait! This is not your typical science fiction book it is one that can change your point of view. For starters the format of the book is extraordinary, the reader is able to see Charlie’s improvement because the book is a diary that is kept throughout Charlie’s  experimental surgery. In the beginning of the book, the spelling is that of a first grader and toward the middle the spelling and grammar improves.

Still not convinced? Read the following.

It inspires you to really think about how people really treat others and the outcomes of that treatment. There are so many inspirational quotes that will pull at your emotions, such as, “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.”  and “How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibility, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes—how such people think nothing of abusing a man with low intelligence.”

Is ignorance bliss?

A questionable question isn’t it? It’s a question that will appear in your mind time after time, while reading the book. If you what to answer this, then you need to read the book first.

  • Author: Daniel Keyes
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Pages: 311