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Encyclopedia > Flowers for Algernon
Flowers for Algernon
Author Daniel Keyes
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction, Novella & Novel
Publisher Harcourt
Publication date April 1959 (original novella) &
March 1966 (full novel)
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 216
ISBN ISBN 0-15-131510-8 (first edition, hardback)

Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction story and play written by Daniel Keyes. It was originally published as a novelette in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, winning a Hugo award for Best Short Fiction in 1960. Keyes later expanded it into a full-length novel under the same title, which won the Nebula Award for Best Novel, awarded by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, in 1966. Image File history File links Algernon. ... Daniel F. Keyes (born August 9, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York) is an American author best known for his award-winning short story Flowers for Algernon. Keyes was given the Author Emeritus honor by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2000. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Some notable science fiction novels, in alphabetical order by title: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke 334 by Thomas M. Disch An Age by Brian Aldiss The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard... A novella is a narrative work of prose fiction somewhat longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Harcourt is also a surname Harcourt (pronunciation: AHR-koor) is a commune and a canton of the Eure département, in the Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy) région, in France. ... Hardcover books A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Daniel F. Keyes (born August 9, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York) is an American author best known for his award-winning short story Flowers for Algernon. Keyes was given the Author Emeritus honor by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2000. ... A novelette (or novelet) is a piece of short prose fiction. ... F&SF April 1971, special Poul Anderson issue. ... The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works. ... Winners of the Nebula Award for Best Novel. ... Science Fiction Writers of America, or SFWA (pronounced // or //), was founded in 1965 by Damon Knight. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Plot summary

The story of Flowers for Algernon centers on Charlie Gordon, a mentally challenged janitor (37 years old in the original novella, 32 years old in the full novel, and 32 years old in Children Literature Book, recently found in Scott Keyes's Note), who volunteers to take part in an experimental intelligence-enhancing treatment. His progress parallels that of Algernon, a laboratory mouse who had been "enhanced by magic" earlier. The story is told from Charlie's point of view and written as a journal, or "progris riport", as he initially spells it, which he keeps as part of the experiment. Succeeding entries trace Charlie's ever-increasing comprehension and intelligence in the aftermath of the treatment, as he passes through "normalcy (or normancy)", and then reaches super-genius level that will last for only a short while. He becomes more intelligent than the doctors who invented the procedure.


He discovers both the advantages of intelligence and awareness, including his sexual-emotional relationship with his former teacher, Alice Kinnian; and the disadvantages, as he keeps having sexual feelings. His love for her is quickly changing as his mental abilities increase. People he thought were his friends had only viewed him as 'entertainment', and now resent his superior abilities. His courtship of Alice becomes turbulent and finally withers into misery when she too comes to resent his superior intellect, which lowers her self-esteem. His increasing ability to perceive the complexities of life, he begins to realize, separates him more and more from the human race. Yet he also begins to accept humans do have fundamental compassion, but are even more terrified of a larger reality not everyone can see.


All else seems to be well, until Algernon starts behaving erratically. His enhanced intelligence begins to fade and he eventually dies of starvation as he loses the ability to solve the puzzle required to get food. As Charlie himself confirms, the neural enhancement is only temporary, and he too is doomed to revert to his original mental state. Some say that Algernon's death is supposed to imply that the treatment will also eventually kill Charlie, but his own notes on the subject, dubbed the Algernon-Gordon Effect, say nothing of his impending death. He records his struggles to find a way to stop the decay until he realizes the futility of it all. The title's mention of flowers is a reference to Charlie's last request that "please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard."


Themes Loss of Innocence- Charlie realizes that the world is not as perfect as he thought. He notices that people are laughing at him once he when he loses his child-like innocence. He also realizes that intelligence does not guarantee happiness. Charlie learns that love, death, pain, loss, and friends are experiences that even the most intelligent of people struggle with.


Literary significance and criticism

In January 1970, the school board of Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, as well as Calgary, Alberta, Canada, banned the novel-length expansion of Flowers for Algernon from the local grade-nine curriculum and the school library, after a parent complained that it was "filthy and immoral." The president of the BC Teachers' Federation criticized the action. Flowers for Algernon was part of the BC Department of Education list of approved books for grade nine and was recommended by the BC Secondary Association of Teachers of English. A month later, the board reconsidered and returned the book to the library; they did not, however, lift its ban from the curriculum. [1] [2] This article or section should be merged with board of education A school board (or school committee) is an elected council that helps determine educational policy in a small regional area, such as a city, state, or province. ... Cranbrook, British Columbia ( ) is a city in southeast British Columbia, seat of the Regional District of East Kootenay. ... Motto: Splendor sine occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Official languages English (de facto) Government Lieutenant-Governor Steven Point Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament House seats 36 Senate seats 6 Confederation July 20, 1871 (6th province) Area  Ranked 5th Total 944... Calgary is a city in the province of Alberta, Canada. ... For other uses, see Alberta (disambiguation). ... Books have been outlawed and burned many times in history when they are considered to contain forbidden knowledge. ...


While the full novel does contain material about the character's personal life (that is, flashbacks of experiences of puberty that may be objectionable to some readers), the original short story does not. It is on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000 at number 47.[3] ALA Logo The American Library Association (ALA) is a group based in the United States that promotes libraries and library education internationally. ...


Awards and nominations

The original short story won a Hugo award for Best Short Fiction in 1960. It was later expanded into a novel of the same title which won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1966. The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works. ... Winners of the Nebula Award for Best Novel. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ...

Preceded by
That Hell-Bound Train
by Robert Bloch
Hugo Award for Best Short Story
1960
Succeeded by
The Longest Voyage
by Poul Anderson
Preceded by
Dune
by Frank Herbert
Nebula Award for Best Novel
1966
(tied with Babel-17)
Succeeded by
The Einstein Intersection
by Samuel R. Delany

That Hell-Bound Train is a fantasy short story by Robert Bloch that won the Hugo Award in 1959. ... Robert Albert Bloch (April 5, 1917, Chicago-September 23, 1994, Los Angeles) was a prolific American writer. ... The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works. ... See also: 1959 in literature, other events of 1960, 1961 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Poul William Anderson (November 25, 1926–July 31, 2001) was an American science fiction author of the genres Golden Age. ... Dune is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert and published in 1965. ... Frank Patrick Herbert (October 8, 1920 – February 11, 1986) was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author. ... Winners of the Nebula Award for Best Novel. ... See also: 1965 in literature, other events of 1966, 1967 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Babel-17 is a science fiction novel by Samuel R. Delany in which the Sapir_Whorf Hypothesis (that language forms thought) is strongly influential. ... The Einstein Intersection is a 1967 science fiction novel by Samuel R. Delany. ... Samuel Ray Delany, Jr. ...

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

A list of the numerous adaptations of the story can be found here [1].

Cliff Robertson. ... The United States Steel Hour was an American television show that aired from 1953 to 1955 on ABC, and from 1955 to 1963 on CBS. Like its radio predecessor of the same name, it was a live dramatic anthology program, airing episodes in a theatrical format. ... Spoiler warning: Charly (also spelled ChaЯly) is a 1968 film which tells the story of a mentally retarded man, working at a bakery, who becomes a subject of an experiment to increase his mental capacity. ... Cliff Robertson. ... The Academy Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... Charlie and Algernon is a musical with a book and lyrics by David Rogers and music by Charles Strouse. ... old Radio 4 logo BBC Radio 4 is a UK domestic radio station which broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history. ... Tom Courtenay (pronounced Courtney) (born February 25, 1937) is a British actor who came to prominence in the early 1960s with a succession of critically-acclaimed films including The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), Billy Liar (1963) and Dr. Zhivago (1965). ... A television movie (also TV movie, TV-movie, made-for-TV movie, etc. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Phenomenon is a 1996 drama, romance, and fantasy film written by Gerald Di Pego, directed by Jon Turteltaub, and starring John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker, and Robert Duvall. ... John Joseph Travolta (born February 18, 1954) is an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning American actor, dancer, and singer, best known for his leading roles in films such as Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Pulp Fiction. ... Molly is a 1999 romantic comedy-drama film directed by John Duigan and written by Dick Christie. ... Elisabeth Judson Shue (born October 6, 1963) is an Academy Award-nominated American film actress. ... A television movie (also TV movie, TV-movie, made-for-TV movie, etc. ... Matthew Avery Modine (born March 22, 1959) is an American actor. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Yusuke Santamaria, born Nakayama Yusuke was a Japanese playwright, television producer, graphics designer, and animator who premiered primarily on Japanese networks such as JDTV and JHJ. He was best known for his work on many popular game shows, television programs, and shorts. ... The Black Crook (1866), considered by some historians to be the first musical[1] Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. ... For other uses, see KBS. Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) is South Koreas premier public broadcaster and one of four major Korean television networks. ...

Allusions/references from other works

Image File history File links Emblem-important. ...

Explicit

it is also like a movie called i am sam a good movie with a disabled man

  • Japanese rock singer Kyosuke Himuro's solo debut album is named Flowers for Algernon.
  • In the film Adaptation., the character of Charlie Kaufman vents to his twin brother Donald about his difficulties adapting the book The Orchid Thief, as there have been no other films about flowers. Donald asks, "What about Flowers for Algernon?" and Charlie replies, "Well, that's not about flowers. And it's not a movie." Donald responds, "Okay, I'm sorry, I never saw it."
  • It is used as the solution for a subplot of the Adult Swim show Frisky Dingo. In the episode "Flowers for Nearl", the Xtacles attempt to pass off a mentally challenged man as the person they had been sent to kidnap, giving him an injection to increase his intelligence. The novel is specifically mentioned by one of the Xtacles, asking "So...who's read Flowers for Algernon?", to which the others incorrectly reply "Oooh, about the kid with all the chains, and the goggles, and at the end he gets killed with a shotgun?" (A mistaken reference to Harrison Bergeron, the dystopian science fiction story written by Kurt Vonnegut.)
  • In the webcomic PvP, Skull, the normally unintelligent troll, accidentally sticks a fork into a toaster and electrocutes himself, becoming a genius in the process. As time goes by, however, he feels isolated from his friends, and decides to electrocute himself again to reverse the process. After Brent reads Skull's note explaining his actions, he says, "I'll go plant some flowers for Algernon in the back yard." Later, when the super intelligent cat, Scratch, electrocutes himself and becomes stupid, while regaining his intelligence he muses "This is like Flowers for Algernon in reverse." [4]
  • in the The Invisible Man (2000 TV series) there is an episode entitled "Flowers for Hobbes" in which Hobbes is injected with a drug that gives him super intelligence.
  • In the PS2 game Fatal Frame 3, When the dream starts during the first night playing as Miku, the Tattoo Priestess appears behind you and says: "I don't want to see, anymore." This is a reference to a poem from the book.

Japanese rock is the Japanese form of rock and roll music, often abbreviated to J-Rock or jrock, as J-Pop and jpop are used as an abbreviation of Japanese Pop. ... For other uses, see Singer (disambiguation). ... Kyosuke Himuro (氷室京介 Himuro Kyōsuke, born on October 7, 1960 in Takasaki, Gunma, real name Osamu Teranishi (寺西 修 Teranishi Osamu), is a Japanese singer. ... In music, a solo is a piece or a section of a piece played or sung by a single performer (solo is an Italian word literally meaning alone). ... A debut album is the first released music album by an artist or a band. ... Flowers for Algernon is the first solo album by Japanese singer Kyosuke Himuro. ... For other uses, see Adaptation (disambiguation). ... The Orchid Thief is a non-fiction work of literature by American journalist and author Susan Orlean, based on her investigation of the 1994 arrest of John Laroche and a group of Seminoles in south Florida for poaching rare orchids in the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. ... Adult Swim is the name for an adult-oriented television programming network. ... Frisky Dingo is an animated comedy television series from Matt Thompson and Adam Reed, co-creators of Sealab 2021. ... The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ... This article is about the philosophical concept and literary form. ... Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ... For PvP in multiplayer computer role-playing games, see player versus player. ... The Invisible Man series debuted in 2000 and starred Vincent Ventresca, Paul Ben-Victor, Eddie Jones, Shannon Kenny and Mike McCafferty. ... PS2 can mean: PlayStation 2 (Sony PS2), sixth-generation video game console PS/2 (IBM Personal System/2 office PCs, or the interface standard for mice and keyboards that the PS/2 series set) Phantasy Star II, second in the Phantasy Star seiries of video games. ...

Implicit

  • A Curious Feeling, the 1979 debut solo album by Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks, was based on a concept inspired by the novel.[5]
  • The 1992 film The Lawnmower Man has several elements in common with the novel Flowers for Algernon. Both deal with a mentally disabled man whose intelligence is technologically boosted to genius levels.
  • In the episode HOMR from the twelfth season of The Simpsons, Homer Simpson experiences an IQ boost after a crayon is surgically removed from his brain. In a close parallel, his associates resent the personality change that accompanies his superior intellect, but the subsequent resolution is Homer's decision to voluntarily re-insert the crayon.

A Curious Feeling is the debut solo album from Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks. ... Genesis is an English rock band formed in 1967. ... (L–R) Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins, Tony Banks in November 2006, promoting the upcoming Turn It On Again tour Anthony George Tony Banks (born March 27, 1950) is an English songwriter, pianist/keyboard player, and guitarist. ... The Lawnmower Man is a short story by Stephen King, first published in Cavalier in 1975. ... HOMR is the ninth episode of the twelfth season of The Simpsons. ... Simpsons redirects here. ...

See also

Illustration by Gustave Doré for Baron Münchhausen: tall tales, such as those of the Baron, often feature unreliable narrators. ... The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964: The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of All Time is a 1970 anthology of science fiction short stories, edited by Robert Silverberg. ...

References

  1. ^ Birdsall, Peter (1978). Mind War: Book Censorship in English Canada. CANLIT, 37. ISBN 0920566014. 
  2. ^ Dick, Judith (1982). Not in Our Schools? School Book Censorship in Canada: A Discussion Guide. Canadian Library Assn, 8. ISBN 0888021623. 
  3. ^ The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000 -ALA.org
  4. ^ http://www.pvponline.com/article/3169/wed-feb-28
  5. ^ Tony Banks Biography -tonybanks-online.com

External links

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, and video games. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, and video games. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Classic Science Fiction Reviews: Flowers for Algernon (662 words)
The answer is that Algernon's IQ has been tripled by an experimental surgical procedure.
Flowers for Algernon is such a beloved classic that it has remained in print since 1959 and is now in its 58th edition.
Human beings have a finite life span, and part of being human is having to contend with the loss of abilities toward the end.
Flowers for Algernon:Student Edition by Daniel Keyes from Harcourt Trade Publishers (1719 words)
A contemporary classic that has engaged, challenged, and moved generations of readers, Flowers for Algernon is the story of Charlie Gordon, a mentally retarded adult who becomes a genius-but only temporarily-after undergoing a risky brain operation.
As a novel, Flowers for Algernon is told in a series of diary entries (or, more specifically, "progress reports").
First as a novella and later, in the mid-1960s, as a novel, Flowers for Algernon was awarded prestigious prizes by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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