The Conversation Begins


This blog is a forum for your group and your classmates to have a conversation about Daniel Keye’s fascinating and poignant character study, Flowers for Algernon.  After analyzing the story, you will develop a well written post.  You may want to find or create images and other media to express your ideas. As you and your group members contribute posts, read each others’ ideas and make thoughtful comments.

McKay B. says “Daniel Keyes develops Characterization through Internal Monologue.”

I know that Daniel Keyes develops Characterization through Internal Monologue, and these are my reason’s why…

The Thinker

“Sometimes somebody will say hey look at Joe or Frank or George he really pulled a Charlie Gordon. I dont know why they say that but they always laff.” …”Now I know what it means when they say “to pull a Charlie Gordon.” (Pg. #227 and then Pg. #231)

This shows Internal Monologue because with his enhanced intelligence he is brought into the light of that his friends aren’t really his friends but are keeping him around just for the laughs. For example, usually most people when they make your name a verb it’s in a derogatory fashion. When he is talking to himself at the beginning he has no clue that they are making fun of him, but then by the end of the story he has the intelligence to know that they are making fun of him. This shows characterization because he changes over the the course of the book.

“I would not have noticed the new dishwasher, a boy of about sixteen, at the corner diner where I take my evening meals if not for the incident of the broken dishes. They crashed to the floor, shattering and sending bits of white china under the tables. The boy stood there, dazed and frightened, holding the catcalls from the customers (the cries of “Hey, there go the profits!…” ” Mazeltov!…” and “well he didn’t work here very long…” (Pg. #236)

This shows internal monologue because he feels sad for a kid that was just like himself, but because of his enhanced intelligence he can realize why the kid feels scared/sad, but he can also realize why the other people are laughing at him. By adding this part of the story it shows that by getting his intelligence it shows that he is able to discern between the mentally retarded kid’s point of view and the normal people’s point of view. This shows Characterization because he changes over the course of the story.

“Apr 16 Today, I lerned, the comma, this is a comma (,) a period, with a tail, Miss Kinnian, syas its importent, because, it makes writing, better and I dont have, any money, and I dont see, how a comma, keeps you, from losing it,”… “Once again now I have the feeling of shame burning inside me. this intelligence has driven a wedge between me and all the people I once knew and loved. Before, they laughed at me and despised me for my ignorance and dullness; now, they hate me for my knowledge and understanding. What in God’s name do they want of me?” (Pg. 229 & Pg.235)

This shows that at the beginning when he is talking to himself he is not using punctuation very well and he is not very smart, and then at near the end his grammar is great. So, this shows that between the beginning and the end it. At the beginning of the story he is using very bad grammar, but then by the end of the story he is using better grammar. This shows that Characterization through Internal Monologue because he changes over the course of the story.

Kylie B. says Daniel Keyes uses foreshadowing through characterization.

The book Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes is a heartfelt, meaningful book that hooks you from the start.  The very first page intices you to keep reading becuase it’s different. It shows a whole other side to the literature we thought we knew. Daniel Keyes makes a literary challenge look easy while, appealing to every emotion. You follow Charlie Gordon on his path to become who he wants to be.  Along the reading of this book, you learn who Charlie Gordon is while getting a sense of foreshadowing and characterization.


“Dr. Strauss says I shud rite down what I Think and evrey Thing that happens to me from now on. I dont know why but he says its importint so They will see if they will use me. I hope they use me Miss Kinnian says maybe they can make me smart. I want to be smart. My name is Charlie Gordon. I am 37 years old and 2 weeks ago was my birthday. I have nuthing more to rite now so I will close for today.” (pg. 221)

This shows the characterization of Charlie Gordon through the illiteracy evident in his writing.  This shows how low of a mental state Charlie is in, in the beginning of the book.  By reading this passage I get the feeling of Charlie Gordon being  at a low mental state and having a very low capability of even writing. This passage really gives the reader a clear sense of who Charlie Gordon is. This passage characterized Charlie Gordon as a ,most likely, handicapped man, who is sort of clueless, and also shows weak signs of determination because he is willing to write for the doctor and the sense that he has a chance of becoming smarter.


The use of the minor device acts as a launch pad to set up the foreshadowing that some experiment is going to take place because Dr. Strauss needs to know if he can use Charlie Gordon. This also acts as though they will use Charlie Gordon because he talks about how the doctor is already getting involved with Charlie. I can also see through the foreshadowing that there is something important with Ms.Kinnian to bring her up so early in the book, which also tells us that she is involved in Charlie’s life in some way.

 “They’ve been feeding Algernon, who now refuses to work the shifting-lock problem. Everyone identifies me with Algernon. In a way we’re both the first of our kind. They’re all pretending that Algernon’s behavior is is not necessarily significant for me. But it’s hard to hide the fact that some of the other animals who were used in this experiment are showing strange behavior.” (pg. 238)

This is evidence of characterization because it shows Charlies’s progression in his spelling, punctuation, and word choice. This also shows how Charlie Gordon is identified with Algernon so, it really shows that everything Algernon is identified for basically, Charlie can be identified for as well.  This modestly shows how Charlie is proud of his progress by stating that they both are really the first of their kind.  This passage pushes that Charlie really thinks ahead and thinks very clearly, compared to the other passages. This is a really good example of how Daniel Keyes really sets up the characterization for foreshadowing.

This minor device helped to show that everything that is happening to Algernon basically is identified as happening to Charlie Gordon. It describes that Algernon and Charlie are almost one in the same and that if Algernon is having a hard time with anything basically, that will happen to Charlie as well.  The use of characterization in this passage really sets up the foreshadowing by basically telling us that something is going to happen to Algernon/ is happening to Algernon, and soon will happen to Charlie. These both work hand-in-hand in this section.

“Dr.Strauss thinks I’m working too hard. Dr.Nemur says I’m trying to cram a lifetime of research and thought into a few weeks. I know I should rest, but I’m driven on by something inside that wont’t let me stop. I’ve got to find the reason for the sharp regression in Algernon. I’ve got to know if and when it will happen to me.” (pg. 238)

The way the author reveals characterization, gives a clear image of how Charlie’s character has changed and shows how truly driven for success ,and to be the best him he can be, he really is. This definitely shows the final draft of Charlie. This shows how far he has come since the beginning of the book.  Charlie Gordon is a very determined, smart man now.  The determination that Charlie has to figure out Algernon’s problem is really setting up the foreshadowing.


The use of the minor device helps the foreshadowing because it is describing Charlie Gordon’s determination to find out Algernon’s problem. He has this determination because he has to find out when it will happen to him, this sets up the foreshadowing that something is going to happen to Charlie.  This example really uses every example before to push the foreshadowing. The way that we finally see that Charlie has improved in every sense but, seems like something will happen to make him start declining intellectually.  The author also sporadically reveals Algernon by checking up on him almost through the text. The way that Charlie is identified with Algernon leads us to believe something bad is happening to Algernon and is also going to happen to Charlie.

As you can see this book is a challenge, not to read, but, had to be a challenge to write. Daniel Keyes took almost every literary device and used it, which made it hard to narrow it down to just two to tell you about. He definitely took a different approach to writing which made it unique but, also is what made it so good.  This book was breathtaking and approached a sensitive subject and made it lighthearted and fascinating while keeping you enticed the whole time.  The thing that I found the most addicting, however, was the perpetual use of foreshadowing and characterization which, helped to shape this amazing story.

Rachel F says Daniel Keye creates conflict with dialog

Flowers for Algernon is about a man named Charlie who is mentally challenged and is working hard to become smart. He works with a mouse named Algernon who is getting the same treatment as him so that the doctors can see if it will work. The story has conflict with Charlie and the things going on in his life, which is created by dialog.

In the beginning of the story, Charlie was tested using inkblots. He did not understand them and could not see anything in them. This upsets Charlie and causes him to get frustrated.  When this happened, Charlie decided that he wanted to be able to understand the inkblots and get smarter.     

  “I told him it was a very nice inkblot with littel points all around the edges. He looked very sad so that wasnt it.”


The people who work with Charlie like to take him out to Muggy´s Saloon. They tell him to do embarrassing things for their own entertainment.While they were doing that, Charlie thought those guys were his friends.  Their dialog towards Charlie creates conflict because once Charlie gets smarter, he realizes that they were just making fun of him and that they were not his friends.

“Joe carp said I should show the girls how I mop out the toilet in the factory and he got me a mop. I showed them and everyone laffed when I told that Mr Donnegan said I was the best janiter he ever had because I like my job and do it good and never come late or miss a day except for my operashun.”


White Male #2 (Micetro's)


During the testing with Charlie and Algernon, Algernon starts to become aggressive and not do the tests. This alarms the doctors and they decide that they should not have Charlie not test with Algernon anymore as to they want to find out if Charlie will react the same way to the treatment. Charlie then wants to find out what is happening to Algernon and if it will happen to him too. So he studies constantly trying to figure it out. Charlies doctors try to make him stop but he refuses.

                               “It happened today. Algernon bit me.”

“Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur have asked me not to come to the lab any more. I know what they’re thinking, but I can’t accept it. I am going ahead with my plans to carry their research forward.”


Through out the story, Charlie experiences lots of conflict. When he gets smart, he realizes why he had those conflicts and how he got over them as he got smarter.




Parker S says that Daniel Keyes develops Theme through Setting and Foreshadowing

Change isn’t always the best thing in the world. And nobody understands that like Charlie Gordon, a mentally256018455_692af3d946_m retarded man who’s been chosen as the subject for an experimental surgery to triple his I.Q. If it succeeds, this surgery will be done on other people in the same condition. Throughout the story, Charlie learns that change is not the greatest thing ever.

“progis riport 1 – march 5 1965”

This is the time that the story begins

The story begins at the beginning of March, on the brink of Spring. A time of new beginnings, fresh starts, new growth, and re-birth. I thought this was interesting because his surgery took place at the very beginning of Spring. This was Charlie’s new beginning, his metaphorical new birth. The peak of his intelligence was during the summer, which is the peak of the year. Everything is green and vibrant. All the flowers are bright purple and yellow. On page 245, Charlie writes “…I lerned a lot of things that I never even new were in this world and Im grateful that I saw it all for a littel bit.” He got to see the world. See the colors and see the Summer. Then, his intelligence drops in Autumn. The time of nature’s decline. He slowly starts to forget things like the trees slowly loose their bright green color. But at the end, you don’t see the birth of a new Charlie, but rather the re-birth of the Old Charlie. All of this builds a theme of nothing lasts forever.

“Hes smart and figers out all kinds of things so he can have a house and food and hes a good swimmer. Only I feel sorry because hes all alone and has no frends.”

Robinson Crusoe was the first book Charlie read after his surgery. This is foreshadowing what happens to Charlie after his operation. His “friends” at the factory leave him after his operation, saying that him becoming smart isn’t right. This foreshadow helps develop a theme of friendship

One of his friends states that when Eve eating the fruit of knowledge was a sin. This is almost the same. Having all this knowledge has taken his own friends away from him. Just like Robinson Crusoe, Charlie is super smart, but has 4996111771_2e3db4ca4c_mno friends. Friendship is a big theme in this story. The first real friend Charlie gets is Algernon. He offered what Charlie needed most. They both share the experience of experimental surgeries, and Charlie discovers his own fate through Algernon. After his intelligence declines to the point of worse that he started, you see the strength of friendship in not only Algernon, but also the friendship Charlie gives to everyone else. At the end, Charlie’s inablilty to remember anything from his past upsets many of his friends, specifically Miss Kinnian. Out of consideration to his friends, he moves away, trying to better his friends lives. And only a true friend would make his last progress report ask to put flowers on Algernon’s grave.

“We are reading a very hard book. I never read such a hard book before. Its called Robinson Cursoe about a man who gets merooned on a dessert Iland. Hes smart and figers out all kinds of things so he can have a house and food and hes a good swimmer. Only I feel sorry because hes all alone and has no frends….I hope he gets a frend and not be lonly.”

The setting of Robinson Crusoe is a guy abandoned on a desert island. Charlie thinks that he is lonely. Combine the setting of Robinson Crusoe and the foreshadowing of Charlie’s loneliness, and you’ve got a theme of change isn’t always a good thing.

The first book Charlie reads after his surgery is Robinson Crusoe. Charlie thinks that the main character is very smart, but lonely. The setting of Robinson Crusoe is a guy stranded on a deserted island, struggling to survive. Charlie thinks that he is lonely and needs friends. This is foreshadowing on how Charlie is after he is smart. This builds a theme of change isn’t always a good thing. Charlie’s surgery is something that’s never been done on a human before. And has to learn to cope with his new knowledge, just as the main character has to learn to survive on the island. His friends leave him and he is alone. His only real friend is Algernon, who goes through everything with him. Just like in Robinson Crusoe, the main character has a dog with him the whole way through, both having the same fate. When Charlie has his surgery, he is stranded on his own metaphorical deserted island with only Algernon to keep him company.

All in all, Charlie Gordon learns that change isn’t always the best thing ever. He gets stranded on his own metaphorical island after is surgery with only Algernon to keep him company. He also learns about friendship and what a true friend is. He forms a strong bond with Algernon, and after all the memory loss, after all his changes, he still remembers to put flowers on his grave.

Kaitlyn F. Says Daniel Keyes Creates Mood Through Repetition and Foreshadowing

Daniel Keyes creates Mood through foreshadowing and Repetition.

One of the minor literary devices in “Flowers for Algernon” is Foreshadowing. In this sentence it shows how because everyone is associating Charlie with Algernon, things will probably go down hill for him, just like they did with other test subjects.

“Everyone identifies me with Algernon. In a way we’re both the first of our kind. They’re all pretending that Algernon’s behavior is not necessarily significant to me. But it’s hard to hide the fact that some of the other animals who were used in this experiment are showing strange behavior.”

This specific passage in the story makes the reader feel different emotions. The mood Daniel Keyes creates is very sad. Because of the foreshadowing in this paragraph, you know something bad is going to happen, which creates a very upsetting mood. It is also creates mood when it talks about Algernon and other animals showing “strange behavior.” You don’t really know what will happen. Will there be a happy ending? Will he digress like Algernon did? You just don’t know. That’s part of what makes this story so amazing.

White Male #2 (Micetro's)

Daniel Keyes uses different words very well throughout the piece. By using words like, stupid, smart, and dumb multiple times, he emphasizes the fact that Charlie knows he’s not as smart as the people around him.

“They said why do you want to. I told them becaus all my life I wantid to be smart and not dumb.” “Then Ill be abel to read better and spell the words good and know lots of things and be like other people. I want  to be smart like other people.”

By repeating powerful words throughout the tale, the author creates a feeling of sympathy for Charlie. Because Charlie is aware of the fact he is not very smart, he feels like he needs to be a science experiment and get smarter just so he can fit in. It is even more sad, though, when after the procedure starts working, he gets rejected worse than before. He sticks out more, and he is now aware that he is being rejected, so the feeling is even worse. You start thinking about how you would feel in this kind of situation.

By using simple sentences Daniel Keyes shows how Charlie’s mind works. With the fast, short sentences, he helps us know that Charlie doesn’t pay much attention to detail and what Charlie is going through. He also uses incorrect spellings of words, which has more of an affect on the story than people think. It shows the progression and digression of Charlie throughout the story.

“Miss Kinnian came to the door but I said go away I dont want to see you. She cried and I cried too but I woudnt let her in because I didn’t like her anymore. I told her I didnt want to be smart any more. Thats not true. I had to say that so shed go away. She gave Mrs. Flynn money to pay the rent. I dont want that. I got to get a job.”

In the quote here, Daniel Keyes uses short sentences. They are extremely powerful sentences even though they may be short. This is one of the most emotional parts of the entire story, and it is because the author uses specific words, in small,s hort sentences.

Overall, Daniel Keyes used repetition and foreshadowing very wisely to create mood. “Flowers for Algernon”is a very touching story.


Daniel Deuel says Daniel Keyes Develops Mood Through Conflict

Flowers for Algernon is a great short story which was written by Daniel Keyes. It tells the story of a man named Charlie Gordon who has a below average IQ and gets a operation with hopes to change that. In this story conflict is a very prominent theme. What many people don’t think about consciously is that this conflict develops mood.

“As I review the records and data on Algernon, I see that although he is still in his physical infancy, he has regressed mentally. Motor activity is impaired; there is a general reduction of glandular activity; there is a accelerated loss of coordination. There are also strong indications of progressive amnesia.” 239


Conflict is very present in the quote above. As you can see over time Algernon has been regressing from the mind altering operation which is a large conflict. This is mainly because most likely this will apply to Charlie in the near future. This is especially conflicting because Charlie is the one finding out that his time of having a extremely high IQ is over.

This conflict sends a strong message to the reader. At first most people feel sympathy towards Algernon, but then make the connection that the same thing is inevitably going to happen to Charlie sooner rather than later.

“I dint remember she ever called me that before only Charlie so I said hello Miss Kinnian Im redy for my lesin today only I lost my reader that we was using. She sartid to cry and run out of the room and everybody looked ar me and I saw they wasnt the same pepul who use to be in my class.” 243

This quote is also full of conflict. The rapid deterioration of Charlie’s mind has lead him to return to the class where he was learning before and after his operation. Once he sits down in the classroom his teacher, Miss Kinnian, is flooded with emotions and runs out of the class which draws attention to Charlie. This nudges Charlie to the conclusion that these are not his classmates and therefor class.

This conflict then develops a strong mood. The reader begins to feel awkward, confused, and dumb. Then, they begin to take  pity on Charlie for putting himself in such a weird situation. Worst of all this is not his fault, his mind has hindered him from being a normal person therefore putting him in these situation. Pairing this event with the trauma of Charlie being mentally handicapped to above genius status and back down this makes a very strong mood pulling emotions from the reader.

SoIstilldontIn summary, this short story is packed full of examples of how conflict is used to develop mood. In many quotes from this story the reader it hit with a powerful mood, which was powered by conflict. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I hope you found it knowledgeable and interesting.

Bryce C. says Daniel Keyes creates mood with conflict


“I tryed hard but I still couldnt find the picturs,
I only saw the the ink. I told him maybe I need3452032817_e8413183a5_o (3) new glases.                                           Conflict is a minor device because when you have conflict there is a problem and the problem here is Charlie cannot see images in the ink. The major device is mood because the conflict makes you feel bad for Charlie because he can’t even use his imagination to see pictures in the ink.



” I put Algernon’s body in a cheese box and buried him in a in the back yard. I cried. This is conflict because algernon was charlie’s best friend and he is gone so Charlie has no friends and that is the conIcursedmyselfforflict. The conflict being that charlies best friend died makes you feel sad for charlie because he lost his best friend.



Even a feeble-minded man wants to be like other men.                                     This quote has conflict because Charles is feeble minded but he still wants to relate and socialize like other people without his disease. but even though every one thinks he is fine how he his Charles wants to not stand out in a crowd. The conflict makes you feel mood by making you feel sad and sorry for Charles because he just wants to fit in but he can´t.

Chloe D. says Daniel Keyes Develops Mood through Characterization


In the story Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes develops the mood of the story through characterization. He creates a mood of commiseration by using the characters, primarily Charlie Gordon, to make us feel a certain way about his writing.

“I said can I feed him because I felt bad to beat him and i wanted to and make frends. burt said no Algernon is a very spechul mouse with
an operashun like mine, and he was the first of all the animals to stay smart so long.
He told me Algernon is so smart that every day he has to solve a test to get his food.
Its a thing like a lock on a door that changes every time Algernon does in to east so he has to lern something new to get his food.
“That made me sad because if he coudnt lern he woud be hungry.” (pg. 229).

I chose this quote because it shows the minor device of characterization by building up the mood by slowly revealing the character of Charlie. He shows us that he’s a good person who just wants to learn. Once you get a sense of the character, it’s a lot easier to connect and sympathize with them.

This quote develops characterization because it gives more insight to the character and what the author wants you to know about the character. He shows us that even though Charlie doesn’t really understand, he is still hopeful for other people and believes the best can happen. The major device of mood is shown in this quote because you empathize with Charlie and start to hope that this operation works, but you soon after Keyes brings back the mood of commiseration with one of the next quotes, such as,

“What do smart people think about. Fancy things I suppose. I wish I knew some fancy things already.”

He then leads us into this scene…


“Then when I got up I saw the look on Joe’s face and it gave me a funny feeling in my stomack. “ He’s a scream,” one of the girls said. Everybody was laughing. Frank said, “I ain’t laughed so much since we sent him off for the newspaper that night at Muggsy’s and ditched him.” “Look at him. his face is red.” “He’s blushing. Charlie is blushing.” “Hey, Ellen, what’d you do to Charlie? I never saw him act like that before.” I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. Everyone was looking at me and laughing and I felt naked. I wanted to hide myself. I ran to into the street and I threw up. Then I walked home. It’s a funny thing I never knew that Joe and Frank and the others liked to have me around all the time to make fun of me. Now I know what it means when they say “to pull a Charlie Gordon.” I’m ashamed.”

Keyes is using a lot of characterization by having Charlie understand what “pulling a Charlie Gordon” means. Now that he is smarter, we are able to relate to Charlie and instead of laughing along with him when he doesn’t understand that people are making fun of him, we are feeling hurt along with him that his supposed friends aren’t actually his friends. This quote really shows how the two devices work together to create a well developed story.

“As his vacant eyes moved across the crowd of amused onlookers, he slowly mirrored their smiles and finally broke into an uncertain grin at the joke which he obviously did not understand. I felt sick inside as I looked at his dull, vacuous smile, the wide, bright eyes of a child, uncertain but eager to please. They were laughing at him because he was mentally retarded. And I had been laughing at him too. Suddenly, I was furious at myself and all those who were smirking at him. I jumped up and shouted, “Shut up! Leave him alone! It’s not his fault he can’t understand! He can’t help what he is! But for God’s sake… he’s still a human being!”

This quote shows characterization because it gives you a strong sense of who Charlie really is. When he is mentally retarded it’s hard to tell what he would do in a situation where a person is being made fun of for their intellectual disability, but as he grows smarter we can see he’s a good person. By acknowledging he laughed at the boy too, it shows that he takes responsibility for his actions and has good integrity, which is a trait not many people posses. The feeling you get from this quote also fits the mood of commiseration because you feel sorrow for both Charlie and the boy. 2014.08.28 Sunset at The Sussex County Sunflower Maze, NJ

In conclusion, Daniel Keyes shows characterization development and a mood of commiseration throughout the story using several quotes. He takes this character he’s created and builds him up from the lowest he could be to one of the smartest people in the world, just to tear him down again.


Noah T. says Daniel Keyes develops mood through point of view


When I read Flowers for Algernon, it really got me thinking about how powerful point of view can be. I have never noticed it in a story before, but this story really made me notice that when an author writes in first person, you get a lot more emotionally attached to the character than when you read in third person. You get to see things through the characters eyes, you get to feel and see what they are going through, and Keyes does a great job with this.

 progris riport 1 – martch 5 1965                                                Dr.  Strauss says I shud rite down what I Think and evrey Thing that  happins to me from now on.                         Pg. 221

This is the first sentence of the story, and you already begin to notice a part of the book which you can notice throughout it. This aspect of the story is spelling, and it already makes you feel bad for the main character because he can’t spell. While I am not the best speller, I can spell most of what he is writing right, but he can’t. I also can use capitalization and punctuation, and again he can’t. It makes the work rather hard to read, which is another part of why writing in first person helps set the mood even more, especially using the diary format. When you get to feel what the character is feeling and see how the character thinks, you really start to connect with the character. This makes writing in first person help set the mood and make it more powerful than it could be in third person.

There are a ton of parts in Flowers for Algernon that makes you really think how powerful first person is, and here I think is one of the most prominent ones. This scene in the book sets up a lot of the other events that make you really begin to feel bad for him.

Then when I got up I saw the look on Joe’s face and it gave me a funny feeling in my stomack. “He’s a scream,” one of the girls said. Everybody was laughing.                                                                                                                   Frank said, “I ain’t laughed so much since we sent him off for the newspaper that night at Muggsy’s and ditched him.”       Pg. 224

White Mouse

This makes you feel really bad for him because you get the view from the character, not the narrator,  and you can feel his pain and it makes you want to be nice to him. You would feel bad for him regardless of the point of view, but when you get more personal, it amplifies it that much more. Another powerful thing of writing in first person is the character’s opinion is your until they change. Keyes uses this in Flowers in Algernon when you know that Frank was a person that Gordon considered a friend when he was stupid, and now that he is smart you can tell that he is not his friend. If it was written in third person, you would have always know that Frank was mean to him, but because it was told by Gordon, you thought he was nice, but now you know that Frank is really not.

One last thing that I think really illustrates the point that first person makes writing so powerful it this

I’m forgetting things that I learned recently. It seems to be following the classic pattern – the last things learned are the first things forgotten. Or is that the pattern? I’d better look it up again…                    Pg. 240

This makes it even more sad to read because when he was writing in first person, you can really connect to the character. You get to feel as though you were the one losing your memory and all the important and awesome things you learned it the last month or two, but you know what he used to know, so you have more memory about him that he does, which makes you want to tell him things and help him, but you can’t. This is always a powerful thing to do to set mood, and Keyes does a great job putting it in and making it totally awesome.

Over all, I think that Daniel Keyes did a great job creating a mood of feeling bad for Gordon, and he uses point of view to make this really powerful. I really enjoyed this story, and it was crafted amazingly.

Miles W says Daniel Keyes develops conflict through characterization

Daniel Keyes develops conflict in his book Flowers for Algernon through characterization, without characterization this story would be nothing with characterization it would be about a mentally disabled man with no developed perspective and with no conflict because he does not even realize he is made fun of every day.


This quote is when he goes into mental decline, this is a big of example of Charlie changing, and he knows this, unlike in most books/stories where people change without their own knowing but in Flowers for Algernon, Charlie knows this change and he fears it. This is a key example because he would have never feared this if had’t had the surgery.

This internal conflict is created through characterization by him fearing being disabled again and with this fear, he tries to prevent it by reading and writing but eventually his mind fails him. The entire story is based on charlie changing and conflict only arises when he is smart enough to realize it, and most the of the conflict in this story is with his intelligence.

“I had a test today. and i think i faled it. and I think that maybe now they wont use me. what happind is a nice youg man was in the room and he had some white cards with ink spilled on this. He sed Charlie what do you see on this card. I was very skareed even tho I had my rabits foot in my pockit because when I was a kid I always faled test in school and I spilled ink to.”

Lab Mouse checkin out the camera

This is evidence of characterization, Charlie is different and we understand clearly that Charlie does not know what the test is and he feels bad that he does not understand, he shows this feeling by already doubting himself before the results are back. This quickly develops Charlie’s mental disability and starts creating the conflict in the story, Charlie’s intelligence.

“Suddenly, I was furious at myself and all those who were smirking at him. I jumped up and shouted, “Shut up! leave him alone! it’s not his fault he can’t understand! He can’t help what he is!” but for god’s sake… he’s still a human being!”

This is a big development in his character, he goes from being unintelligible to becoming extremely smart. This is an example shows exactly how he has changed by showing what he used to be, the dishwasher, to being the onlookers. With this development he was able to see both views and Most people would have never experienced that change.

Characterization develops conflict through these two quotes, the first quote creates conflict by him doubting himself, but more importantly in the second quote, Daniel Keyes creates conflict by showing what he used to be and Charlie realized that he had been laughed at his entire life and without the development of character , there would be no conflict. Only with his increased intelligence was he able to realize that people had been making fun of him his entire life.