Friday, January 13, 2012

Flowers for Algernon a Science Fiction Short Story about a Man with a Cognitive Disability

I just read 'Flowers for Algernon,' a science fiction short story by Daniel Keyes copyright 1959.  'Flowers for Algernon' is about a man named Charlie with a cognitive impairment who has an operation to increase his intelligence. 

As the man becomes more intelligent he begins to see the world differently and people differently.  People also begin to see Charlie differently, by the end of the story its almost as if Charlie needed to increase his intelligence for people to see him as human, yet when his intelligence was at its pinnacle he wasn't seen as really 'human' either. 

As the story progresses Charlie becomes a genius, the hardest thing for Charlie is that he proves the increases in his intelligence are temporary.  Charlie begins to lose his intelligence as well as his memory of many of the things he did and learned.  I can't help but wonder if this is a bit like how someone with Alzheimer's feels. 

As I write this post I feel I just can't begin to give this story credit, please read it for yourself I'd love to hear your thoughts.

'Flowers for Algernon' by Daniel Keyes.

No comments: