Daniel Keyes – Flowers For Algernon Audiobooktext
We rarely imagine how difficult it is to talk about a book that moved us, that made us cry. It took me almost two weeks here to decide to write this article on Algernon.
This novel disconcerted me at first since it was approached from the point of view of Charlie, who was encouraged to recount his experience through regular reviews, in his own words. The first 10 pages are therefore full of spelling mistakes… and then, little by little, we see his writing improve, his thoughts deepen. It is at the very heart of the text, of this story, that Daniel Keyes has inscribed Charlie’s evolution over the pages. And that’s what made it a most touching novel, which went straight to my heart.
Beyond this writing and this particular construction, the novel tackles many burning questions which touch on the intelligence of the man. As one of the doctors put it, “The smarter you get, the more problems you’ll have, Charlie.” Wasn’t he actually happier before? He had friends, a job. When he realizes that he is becoming smarter, new feelings, new emotions appear: the first is the shame he feels, the shame towards the old Charlie, still lurking in him, that we have always taken for a fool, who has been laughed at over and over again, without knowing it: “It’s easy to have friends if you let people laugh at you.”
This heartbreak is however accompanied by the pleasure of learning, of mastering more and more concepts, of surpassing one’s masters. He then realizes the importance of knowledge, even if this discovery produces unexpected upheavals: “I understand that one of the great reasons to go to college and to be educated is to learn that things that you’ve believed your whole life are not true, and that nothing is what it appears to be. ”
At the same time, he also experiences his first romantic emotions. the reading understands that the old Charlie had more or less been stuck in his puberty, since he had not been able to understand what was happening to him and to control it. Intelligence therefore returns it to the entirety of a truly human life. Daniel Keyes – Flowers For Algernon Audiobook
But in the end, he has the intuition that intelligence is nothing if there is not the rest: love, gentleness, compassion. “Intelligence and education which are not tempered by human warmth are not worth much … too often the search for knowledge drives out the search for love. Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral collapse, to psychosis. ”
Intelligence does not lead to happiness, is that one of the moral of the novel? I’m not sure because understanding the world also brings happiness to Charlie; show his mother that he was able to evolve, too. Daniel Keyes – Flowers For Algernon Audiobook
Des Fleurs pour Algernon is a book that is felt, that is lived. More than a science fiction novel, it is a psychological novel, which can affect everyone.
An incredibly modern, universal book.
“Exceptional gets along with one extreme as well as the other, so I have been exceptional all my life.”