Thursday, April 22, 2010

Flowers for Algernon

It has been awhile since I have sat down to a book and finished it within 24 hours. Flowers for Algernon is such a touching story. I am horrible at synopsis's but bear with me as I try to explain this important book.

Charlie was born with a lower I.Q then most. At 32 years old he takes classes in hopes to better himself, he also works at a local bakery to earn money. When a scientist discovers that a laboratory mouse named Algernon has tripled his I.Q following an operation, he approaches Charlie in hopes that he will agree to be the first human to receive the operation. The book is written through Charlie's journals and following the operation his spelling, grammar, vocabulary, etc. becomes more advanced. In time he begins to remember his past and quickly surpasses the scientists own intelligence.

I realize that this book is older and that most have heard about it, but I had never read it and it was such a memorable story. It dives into his past and current relationships. And when Algernon begins to regress Charlie begins to research in hopes that he can stop the regression that will potentially take over in his own brain. Throughout the book I wondered if Charlie was better off without the operation. Did it really make him a better person? Is he a happier person with a higher I.Q? He finds that most are scared of his new found knowledge and as he remembers his past it's excruciating to read, especially the way he was treated by his own family.

If you have not read this book, you should. It not only is interesting to read but the underlining point of the book is that mentally disabled people are just as important, loving, kind and compassionate as anyone else. Below is a sentence that summed up the book perfectly.

"How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibility, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes- how such people think nothing of abusing a man born with low intelligence."


Booker and Khinna Kaminske said...

I'm going to add this to my good reads. Thanks for sharing.

Shanna said...

This sounds great, I can't wait until you borrow it to me:)