Flowers for Algernon Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Flowers for Algernon

Charlie Gordon's IQ is below 70. He works as a janitor in a factory and he is the butt of practical jokes by his coworkers. Charley attends night school and wishes he could learn to read and write. Charley is accepted for a new program where he is paired for study with a mouse named Algernon that has undergone a brain operation. The procedure accelerates the rate of comprehension making the subject incredibly intelligent. Algernon beats Charlie over and over in a race to run a maze every time, thanks to his new found "brains".
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Finally, Charley has the operation. He keeps a journal of his progress and we are astounded at the progress he makes by the improved language skills he begins to display in the diary. Charley's rapidly increasing IQ has several side effects. He falls for his schoolteacher, Miss Kinnian, he begins beating Algernon with ease, and he outgrows his friends and his menial labor position at the factory. He has lost himself in the course of gaining a new mind.

The story takes a tragic twist as it is determined that Algernon is not only losing the temporary gains in intelligence but he pays the ultimate price and suddenly dies prematurely. The story closes with Charley losing his gained knowledge, knowing he is reverting back to his former self and likely to the same fate as Algernon.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

Charlie Gordon is mentally retarded. He works very hard to have brain surgery (that was successfully conducted on a mouse) to make him smart. He soon becomes smart, surpassing himself, and gains perspective on humanity making fun of a retarded person. He then mentally surpasses his doctors (thus, knocking them from their God-like pedistle) and goes on even further...
The review of this Book prepared by Amy

It was a good book, but at first can be annoying. Once you get used to the punctuation purposely being bad, you have a well-done 1st person account of a story about a retarded person becoming super-genuis.
The review of this Book prepared by Keith C

Chapter Analysis of Flowers for Algernon

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   special abilities Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York Misc setting    -   scientific labs

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Daniel Keyes Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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