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?