An analysis of the book flowers for algernon an exciting science fiction novel

The best of the scripts provided Tony Hancock with a brilliant foil for his comic genius. Yet to assume they are all perfection would be too hopeful- quite often the shows are almost as humdrum as the very best of their contemporaries, however when at the peak of excellence, they are unsurpassable even today.

An analysis of the book flowers for algernon an exciting science fiction novel

He has dreams of sex, ending with the woman carrying a bloody knife. Later, he dreams of being chased by someone holding a bloody knife. It is also linked with the knife his mother picks up, when she demands that his father should take him away from home. Another symbol, which recurs in the novel, is the window.

After the operation, the "new" Charlie often imagines that his old self is another person who is often watching him from a window.

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It always shows him as an observer, one who is not allowed to actually participate in life but can only watch wistfully while others act.

In the final stages of the novel, Charlie frequently sees his existence as being a journey from a cave into the light, and back again into the cave. There, Plato speaks of the "soul of man" which "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.

The cave appears again in the experience Charlie has during his last therapy session with Strauss. He feels faint and sees a brilliant light - "a blue-white glow Here the light represents God and death, as a merging with God. The cause symbol becomes "the wet labyrinth," "quiet and dark"-his earthly existence into which he is reluctantly pulled back.

Algernon, the white "super-mouse" is not so much a symbol, as a parallel, an "alter-ego" of Charlie. Initially, he hates Algernon for beating him at every maze.

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Then he grows fond of him and is comforted to know he is "smart" because of a similar operation. Charlie is upset that Algernon has to "perform" to earn each meal, and later, after they escape, he invents mazes, which will stimulate the mouse, but does not reward him with food.

At the convention, he resents their "exhibit" status and frees Algernon from his cage and escapes with him. Ultimately, he buries Algernon in the back garden, and puts flowers on his grave. His last thought in the book is that his friends place flowers on the grave of Algernon.

The treatment of the white mouse, as in the case of any other laboratory animal, is exploitative and uncaring. Charlie, being considered sub-human is treated very much the same, hence he considers the mouse as an extension of himself.

Thus, the author, while using symbols common to modern psychology, makes them an organic and essential part of his theme. Thus, it is acknowledged as a work of science fiction.

Yet, one associates science fiction with aliens, outer space, conquest of or by strange creatures, or mutant insects or animals accidentally spawned by science. Here for a change, there is a story about experimental surgery for the benefit of the mentally retarded.


This novel received the Nebula Award for Best Novel of the year, awarded by the Science Fiction Writers of America.

STUDY QUESTIONS / BOOK REPORT IDEAS. 1. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes is one of the classic science fiction novels of the ’s.

An analysis of the book flowers for algernon an exciting science fiction novel

It conveys a moving story about a mentally retarded man gaining genius-level intelligence, only to slowly and tragically regress to his former state. is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her.

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Flowers for Algernon; Study Questions; Flowers for Algernon by: Daniel Keyes Summary. Plot Overview; Summary & Analysis presents is thus not a strictly realistic portrayal of a retarded man’s composition but makes for economical and exciting storytelling. Throughout the novel, Charlie’s gradually recovered memories of childhood tell.

Flowers for Algernon has plenty of newfangled scientific machinery, but that's not necessarily what makes it science fiction. Nope, it's science fiction with a side of philosophy, and grapples heav. Preface. The original edition of Quintus Servinton is extremely rare, only three copies being listed in Ferguson's Bibliography.

These are held by Dr. W. Crowther, the Mitchell Library, and the Public Library of Tasmania. This reprint follows the text of the original . Sitemap