While you're reading Flowers for Algernon, keep in mind some of these questions. You might like to comment on some of these points in the blog.
MEMORY is an important motif that runs throughout the novel. Do you think it's possible that as humans, we can accurately and impartially recall our memories? Can Charlie be trusted as a faithful narrator?
How is HUMANITY depicted in the novel? As Charlie's intelligence increases, how does his attitude towards other people change? How do Dr. Strauss and Prof. Nemur treat Charlie? What purpose do the actions of Charlie's mother and sister serve? What about Charlie's co-workers at Donner's bakery?
Charlie (and Algernon's) journey raises many psychological, scientific, physical and ethical issues. Which parts of the book did you strongly agree/disagree with? Did you stop and rethink your own beliefs at any stage?
What significance do the following symbols impart to the novel: Adam & Eve and the tree of knowledge; the window?
How did you react to the ending of Flowers for Algernon? Were you sad? Inspired? Angered? Impassive?
DID YOU KNOW?
Fun Facts about Flowers for Algernon
The original version of the novel was written as a short story - which received the Hugo Award
, one of Science Fiction's greatest accolades in 1959.
In 1961, FfA was adapted into a successful television series: The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon, starring Cliff Robertson as Charlie.
Daniel Keyes expanded FfA into a full-length novel in 1966. It was awarded the prestigious Nebula Award
that same year.
Over the years, the novel was further adapted into a popular feature film (Charly
, 1968) and a Broadway musical (Charlie & Algernon
, 1978) proving the themes of the story continue to resonate with a modern and diverse audience.