Flowers For Algernon
The Book, "Flowers For Algernon", was an exciting science fiction novel. The main characters of the story are Charlie, a mentally retarded individual who is involved in a remarkable experiment which increased his I.Q., Alice, a special education teacher at Beekman College who taught Charlie how to read and write, the Professors who performed the experiment on Charlie, Fay, one of Charlie's acquaintances whom he meets as the book progresses, and Algernon. The novel is exciting and contains very original material. The moods which the reader experiences are sorrow, anger, and guilt. In the story, Charlie, is subject to an experiment which increases his intelligence. He agrees to it because he believes that once he knows more, he will be able to gain friends. Unfortunately some of his hopes are not met. A character who did not make much of an appearance, but played a very important part in helping Charlie sort out his past and figure out his present and future plans, was Fay. She is an artist whose views on life can be rarely be found in an individual and she helps Charlie reveal his physical and emotional capabilities. Charlie is a mentally retarded person who has impressed people because his main ambition is to gain many friends. At one point, he hears of an experiment which could possibly make him smart. He makes himself subject to this human experiment with the hope of gaining knowledge on how to make friends. As the book progresses, Charlie goes through dramatic changes mentally, and instead of being helped, he actually is looked on in the same way if not worse. For example, at Charlie's old work, his "friends" made fun of him, but at the same time, enjoyed his company because he had amused them. After the operation, Charlie discovers that he had not made his friends like him more, but in actuality, had pushed them away. Charlie understood now what his friends had done to him in the past, and starts to look down upon them. Alice, Charlie's teacher, is the person who introduced Charlie to the idea of giving the experiment a chance. She believes that Charlie has the determination, desire, and will power to make the experiment work. She then, later on in the book, gets emotionally involved with Charlie and helps Charlie learn more about himself. Algernon, is a lab animal who undergoes the same experiment. This results in him being smarter than the average mouse. Algernon also plays a very important part in the novel because he represents Charlie and foreshadows what will happen to Charlie later on in the book. There are many exciting parts which occur in the book. One incident which proved to be the most memorable one was when Charlie had been trying to find out what had gone wrong in the experiment before the inevitable happened to him. After he had discovered what had gone wrong he had started to descend down the escalator of intelligence. He desperately tried to recover his intelligence but was unsuccessful. It was the same as trying to walk up an escalator that is going down. The only thing that I do not agree with is how the book concludes. The conclusion of the book in my eyes leaves the reader hanging like... this. If I would make a change I would write about what happened after Charlie Gordon's death. An example of this would be possible progress and success in the field, or maybe because of the events which had occurred in the past in this field, the experiment was discontinued, or maybe Fay or Alice had conceived a child who grew older, pursued his/her father's theory/discovery which in turn leads into a sequel. If anyone were to ask me if they should read "Flowers For Algernon", I would recommend it highly. It makes the reader realize how a mentally retarded person feels, and thinks. This book has made me realize just how much more determination a mentally retarded person could possibly have, and made me realize just how lucky I am.