Discussion of Flowers for Algernon

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How do you rate Flowers for Algernon?

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Total votes: 33

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Flowers for Algernon symbolism

Post by Clovertechie » 23 Aug 2011, 18:14

I thought that some one earlier had mentioned the fact that "Norma" was chosen as Charlie's sister's name. I couldn't find the post, but have to confess that it was not an original thought, and didn't occur to me during the reading.

The change of season is something that I dearly love in my area of the country, and is something I look for and identify with in reading. Keyes has Charlie's surgery performed in early March, just before the emergence of spring. Through the spring and summer, his intellect flourished and he grows mentally and emotionally. By the end of summer, Charlie (per Erikson's developmental stages) has achieved "maturity" - understanding that "love and work" are necessary. As the days shorten and grow colder and more dreary, Charlie checks himself into Warren to spend his remaining days in the cold isolation of his own mind's "winter."

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Post by Awesomenorms » 31 Aug 2011, 00:01

I started reading Flowers for Algernon online but haven't really finished it yet. I think I'll go back and finish reading it. Then I will post my review about it.

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Post by YellowButterfly85 » 31 Oct 2011, 12:04

I loved Flowers for Algernon. I had to read it twice, once in junior high and once in high school. Each time I learned something new from it. Incredible story.

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Post by sblake » 06 Oct 2013, 21:48

This is one of those books you never forget. I was just telling someone about it this week. It was a real eye opening book for me on how we view ourselves and our place in society. One of my all time favorites.
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Post by sjschleis » 15 Jan 2014, 21:43

I felt bad for Charlie when the people at his work would make fun of him. Not cool

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Post by moongoddess13 » 03 Feb 2014, 17:00

I am new to this site, but I just came across this discussion and it reminded me of how much I loved this book. I first read it when I was in high school, and as many have said here, it stuck with me. I have read it again as an adult, and it remains as intriguing and gripping as it did when I was younger.
I think the reader is drawn in to the emotional side of the characters, not only Charlie, but the others who interact with him as well. I think as human beings, we have all experienced or at the very least, witnessed some of the things that are addressed in this book. I think it would be a good addition to high school reading classes or freshman college classes, not only for the academic literature part of it, but also for the compassion for humanity it teaches.

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Post by jamespoet » 30 Mar 2014, 07:35

I've not yet had the chance to read the novel, but I have read the original novellette and from what I understand the novel just expands certain elements so I will put in my two cents.

This was one of three stories in 8th grade which inspired me to be a writer (The other two being HARRISON BERGERON and A SOUND OF THUNDER). It was so powerful and I am not ashamed to say it made me cry. One man's qust for understanding and learning giving him more than he could hope for, and in the process more than he could chew, made me want so badly for Charly to find his peace.

From wht I understand, people are constantly trying to ban this book in school and in libraries, due to mild sexual themes in the book version. That is sick to me. Do not ban or censor this beautiful story.
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Post by stoppoppingtheP » 28 May 2014, 09:06

I found this book very sad, yet profound. We did this book at school (quite a while ago), but I have not forgotten about it.

What got me was the fact that the powerful/clever people in the world will use people like Charlie in their experiments just like labrats (or mice) in order to learn more. Is it worth it?

“there have been so many times
i have seen a man wanting to weep
beat his heart until it was unconscious.


― Nayyirah Waheed

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Post by Katherine E Wall » 03 Jun 2014, 00:59

This is one of my favorite books. It has an important message, and the way it is written is beautiful. I used it for all of my children when I home educated them, with the exception of the youngest. Now, that I have been reminded of it, by finding this thread, I will remember to introduce my youngest daughter to the book as well. I know with all of the other children, we had incredible discussions. I am looking forward to the discussions with her as well. Even more so, I am looking forward to reading it again.
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Post by Sveta » 26 Jun 2014, 21:49

I'm pretty I sure I read the story, and I found it sad yet heartwarming.
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Post by aaa123 » 24 Jan 2015, 16:16

I really like this book. It really has many aspects and dimensions to it. It is a definite must read. I would recommend this book to young adult readers.

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Post by leassymm » 24 Jan 2015, 20:31

I watched the movie adaptation for English not long ago and bought the book because I loved its movie. I didn't exactly know what to expect (since a movie is never the same as the book, or rarely) but after reading it I decided to do my essay on it. Sadly, now that I have read it over and over again so many times and wrote so much about it, I cannot even look at it! I will keep it anyway, maybe someday I'll read it again. I would definitively recommend it

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Post by Thesaurus Rex » 11 May 2015, 08:55

I read this book a long time ago, and I just remember that I cried a lot while I was reading it.

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Post by dhaller » 04 Aug 2015, 15:44

I fell in love with this book.

What got to me most of all was the writing - how it got smarter and smarter, and then dumber and dumber. It really encapsulated Charlie's condition for me.

Also, I think that this book was a tragedy, in a way that most traditional tragedies aren't. Losing someone you love is tragic, and not being able to be with someone you love is also tragic, but they're also pretty cliched by now.

Knowing that your mind is being destroyed, and watching it happen to yourself in real time...

My grandmother died recently of Alzheimer's, and that's what I think dementia must be like.

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Post by David Bowman » 10 Aug 2015, 14:20

Now I'm not sure in what grade I was in, but I do remember reading this for school (it could be in 5thor 6th grade, but I'm not sure). Even now Flowers for Algernon has become one of the few stories that I actually enjoyed reading in school (along with Homer's the Odyssey).

The simple tale of a man named Charlie trying to become smarter through this experiment intrigued me back then, and now that I'm older the story certainly reveals the complexities of the human mind as well as the way people treated others when taking their intelligence as a factor to their personality. When reading it in school, my textbook had accompanied stills from the film adaptation "Charly," and I'm wondering about watching it... Overall, it's a great story and I would enjoy reading the novel version (if it's any different from the novella).
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