Flowers for Algernon | I’M SO SMART NOW GUYS

Title: Flowers for Algernon

Author: Daniel Keyes

Genre: Psychological Science Fiction 

With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie’s intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance–until Algernon begins his sudden deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?

  • This book makes you think SO MUCH about EVERYTHING. Intelligence, love, morals. It’s just sentences building up paragraphs that completely change your ideas, your beliefs, your views. THIS IS WHY WE READ, CHUMS. So we can brag to peasants about how cultured and smart we are especially compared to them. Shall I elaborate?

“How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibilty, 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.” 

“Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love. This is something else I’ve discovered for myself very recently. I present it to you as a hypothesis: Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis. And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain.”

  • The writing flawlessly illustrates the mindset of Charlie. Because of the “progress report” writing style, we see how his words and grammar reflect his shift in intelligence.
  • There’s a mouse. Honestly, why are fluffy animal companions so absent in books for those who no longer need a car seat?

  • I didn’t really get that emotionally attached. For me to thoroughly devour a book, I need to love not only the plot and ideas fluttered through the pages, I must also love the characters. SO WHY DON’T I LOVE CHARLIE UGHH??? I think it’s because as his intelligence grows, his compassion and kindness decreases and as troubles and obstacles bubble, so does his self-pity. And that, my friends, is something I can’t stand. 
  • The plot was good—ideas, perspectives, conflict, all woven through. But the pacing? Hmm. Yes, I’m the most impatient reader. That certainly doesn’t mean Flowers for Algernon had to be so terribly patient.



I will never be the same. Like, I’m so smart. Super smart. 

What books make you feel smart and ready to conquer the world? What’s your favorite classic? How do you feel about furry friends in literature?

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      4 thoughts on “Flowers for Algernon | I’M SO SMART NOW GUYS

      1. Wow, so many have read it for English but I never got this one assigned, weird! Yeah, it can be a bit annoying, but you can deal with it. True, you learn so much, for me the ideas and inspirations and lessons were what made the novel really stand out.
        Thanks!

      2. Right!! It’s so inspiring actually, it makes me want to be a lot kinder and to look out for other people. MMMM I LOVE THE LESSONS!! It does, it does, it taught me so much I’m so grateful 🙂

      3. I read this book for my high school English program, and have loved it since. I do agree with a lot of what you said though. It’s hard to connect with Charlie at time, and it’s hard to really get into a book when you don’t click with the characters. My love for it comes more from the truths and social side of it, rather than the characters.

        Great review!

      4. oh my gosh! I read this book for English last year and it is one of my favourite things I swear. I loved seeing Charlies intelligence increase but it was so sad to see what happened. I also didn’t get attached to his character but I found it was such a sad and real book, like I see people treating other people the way they Charlie’s “friends” treated him and it makes me so sad. This book is so good and I feel like it teaches people a lot.
        -Yasmin

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