Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

I am afraid. Not of life, or death, or nothingness, but of wasting it as if I had never been.

 This is kind of book you would not lay down whilst you haven’t finished it. This book is special. It would definitely finds its way on you shelf and in your heart.
It’s strange how you start value everything you’ve got in life and others haven’t after reading such books. But not for long, isn’t it. How long could one be grateful for the ability to walk and see, read and write? Everyday routine weighs too much to remember such things. Books like this help us remember what really matters. Let us try to hold this feeling.
This is a story of Charlie Gordon, a mentally disabled man who is desperately eager to learn something new. And Charlie gets what he wants – he learns how to wrote and read and is given a unique opportunity which he can’t refuse. He goes through an experiment and as a result he “becomes smart” instantly. He becomes smart, normal, just like anybody else. His family wouldn’t be ashamed of him anymore. They would be proud. In his position he doesn’t really have a choice.

As he “becomes smart”, Charlie begins to notice that his so-called friends aren’t really friendly. On the contrary, they are people who have mocked him for years. Now they feel rather uncomfortable because comparing to him they appear to be incredibly stupid. Charlie begins to discover the world, and not only its physical part but emotional as well. He goes for an incredible yet short adventure of his life.

Even after the years of mocking he isn’t hard-hearted. Charlie sincerely tries to help people who suffer like he did, to be useful for mankind. Even when he thinks he is selfish and angry he really isn’t. Generally all the people are like this. Because everyone is alone.

During this journey Charlie discovers the notions of friendship, loyalty and love. Charlie is bothered with emotional and physical aspects of love. He can’t get close with a woman he likes for a long time. He’s got a multiple personality – he considers himself and old pre-operational Charlie two different people. He feels that the old Charlie is watching him all the time. With his willpower he conquers this.

This story is full of tragedy and hope. Tragedy – because a human being who was so willing to learn things and to know people better was given this opportunity for a such short period of time. Hope – because if humanity had more people like Charlie Gordon we wouldn’t be so desperate and alone. If only people cared.

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