Charlie Gordon's "Flowers for Algernon"

                              by Daniel Keyes                                                                  --Ryan Krofchalk

Epigraph Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter life, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light. And he will count the one happy in his condition and state of being, and he will pity the other; or, if he have a mind to laugh at the soul which comes from below into the light, there will be more reason in this than in the laugh which greets him who returns from above out of the light into the den. —Plato, The Republic
Universal Theme The theme of this book is self esteem.
Setting In the story, Charlie goes to many different places. One key place that he goes to is Miss Kinnian's class at the Beekman College for Retarded Adults. There he learns how to read and write. Other places that play a major role in the story are the lab where he gets studied because of the surgery, and Donner's Bakery.
Text-to-Self Connection In the story, Charlie Gordon goes from having an extremely low I.Q. to being a genius because of the operation. When Charlie was smart, he was proud and would brag to his co-workers. Soon after braging, Charlies I.Q. began to decline. This is very similar to me because whenever I aquire a skill that I'm proud of, I'll brag to my brother. He will try to do it and most of the time he'll do it better than me. Both in the book and in mmy life we brag to end up not being anything special.
Tone The tone throughout the book changes many times. In the begining, Charlie is very hopeful that the people will use him to become smart. Once he becomes smart is is very self-assured, but he also realises what he thought he wanted (to be smart) might not be what he realy wanted after all. Charlie becomes annoyed because is level of intellegence is so much higher than everyone elses. At the end Charlie becomes sad
A Day in the Life of Charlie Gordon and Mandela
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