Flowers For Algernon

Keyes, Daniel. Flowers for Algernon. Orlando: Harcourt, 2004. Print.

ISBN: 978-0-15-603008-3

Flowers for Algernon

Written By: Daniel Keyes

Reviewed By: Derek Nguyen

Recommended Audience: Middle School to High School

                  Charlie Gordon, a mentally retarded thirty-two-year-old man, is chosen by a team of scientists to get experimental surgery to make him smart. The directors of the experiment, Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur, ask Charlie to keep a journal. Flowers for Algernon is composed of the “progress reports” that Charlie writes. Charlie works at a Bakery in as a janitor and delivery boy. The other employees make fun of him and pick on him, but Charlie doesn’t understand that he is being made fun of. He believes that his coworkers are good friends.

                     After a lot of tests—including a maze-solving competition with a mouse named Algernon, who has already had the experimental surgery performed on him—Charlie goes through the operation. At first he is disappointed that there is no quick change in his intellect, but with work and help from Alice(his teacher), he gradually improves. Charlie begins to read adult books, slowly, then really fast. Charlie also begins to remember his childhood. Algernon’s intelligence begins to decline, and he acts a little crazy. He realizes that Nemur’s hypothesis is wrong and he could become mentally disabled again. Charlie worries that whatever happens to Algernon will soon happen to him as well.  Fearing that he might lose his intelligence. Will Charlie lose his intelligence? What will happen the Algernon, the mouse?

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