Analysis Of Daniel Keyes Flowers For Algernon

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‘Flowers for Algernon,' written in 1958 by Daniel Keyes, is a short science fiction story about a mentally disabled protagonist called Charlie Gordon. Charlie, who is a 37-year-old man, due to his eagerness to learn, receives the opportunity to increase his intelligence through an experimental surgery. Following the experimental process, Daniel Keyes uses the techniques of the juxtaposition of events such as the thematic apperception test, as well as changes his writing style’s literacy skills via a first-person progress report format to entertainingly portray changes in Charlie’s intelligence, and his understanding of the world, to the audience. Utilising these techniques Keyes shows changes in Charlie’s intelligence through the plot’s chronological …show more content…
In the post-surgery, midway paragraphs it can be perceived that Keyes has purposely used repetition of similar tests or events to show the juxtaposition changes in Charlie’s intelligence and abilities. In comparison to Charlie failing the thematic apperception test, during the pre-surgery paragraphs to convey Charlie’s post-surgery development, Keyes incorporates Charlie seeing the novel Robinson Crusoe and stating, “I thinks their must be somebody else on the iland because theres a picture with his funny umbrella looking at footprints;” this shows contrasting development in Charlie’s abilities to comprehend contexts, cognitively process existing knowledge to generate new knowledge and visualise stories. Furthermore, to portray advancements in Charlie’s intelligence, Keyes has also used the first-person progress report format to gradually introduced more sophisticated vocabulary as well as changed his writing style to show Charlie’s ability to use commas, dashes, complex sentences, accurate spelling, correct grammar and incorporated conversations where Charlie communicates complex concepts such as the Dorber-mann s Fifth Concerto, “I tried to avoid all discussions of intellectual concepts and to keep the conversation on a simple, everyday level, but she just …show more content…
In comparison to the post-surgery paragraphs, where Charlie visualises the Robinson Crusoe novella’s cover, Keyes may have progressively shown erosion in Charlie’s memory, “The last things learned are the first things forgotten. Or is that the pattern? I'd better look it up again,” to contrastingly convey that Charlie’s ability to cognitively function, abstractly think and understand past findings to have degraded. Furthermore, Keyes using the first-person format also begins to slowly sequence Charlie’s loss of ability to understand other languages, read, as well as write complex words; and gradually declines the writing through adding inaccurate spellings, inaccurate grammar and structural errors, “I realized I could no longer read German….Most of the books I have are too hard forme now.…its hard to write….Im taking a cuple of books along and even if I cant reed them..,” to illustrate that Charlie’s intelligence through his declining literacy, which post-surgery was complex, coherent and accurate, to have regressed. These techniques of repeating events with contrastingly similar functions to the original thematic apperception test, and the errors in the first-person format’s literacy, are demonstrated by Keyes to effectively, emotionally

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