The mouse is looking in a mirror which reminds me of the change Charlie and Algernon go through.
Keyes uses conflict to create mood in the story Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes. In short, Flowers For Algernon is about a 37 year old man named Charlie Gordon. Charlie has an I.Q of 68 and is recommended to a procedure that would increase his intelligence by three times. While reading this story I felt as if I was on the verge of tears throughout the entire story. The mood and feelings being portrayed are so strong that the reader feels as if they are right there with him, walking with him through every step on his sad journey. The moods engulf you, as you pick through Keyes’ perfect words. As a reader you really feel the impact while reading, they really make you think about the way you act in everyday life. This story seemed to have an impact on me personally, I believe it changed me. Mood is huge in this story so much so that without it the impact would be gone. Mood is significant in this story and it is usually revealed in the midst of a conflict. Keyes also shows strong tone, point of view, foreshadowing and theme.
“I had a test today. I think I faled it. and I think that maybe now they wont use me… He rote somthing down on a paper and i got skared of faling the test.”
Through this conflict mood is being revealed. Strong pity and hopefulness for Charlie is being created here in the first conflict of the story. Point of view is also revealing Charlies thoughts which present a deeper understanding of his thoughts and how that reflects mood.
“ Anyway the test made me feel worser than all the others because they did it over 10 times with difernt amazeds and Algernon won every time. I dint know that mice were so smart… Maybe someday ill beat Algernon. Boy that would be something.”
In this conflict pity is still being created towards Charlie. Theme could also be revealed here, revealing that pity and sadness are huge aspects of this story. Charlie is obviously very hopeful that he will beat Algernon some day. From this, sympathy and hope are huge moods being created here.
“ Im glad im going back to work because i miss my job and all my frends and all the fun we have there… We had a lot of fun at the factery today. Joe Carp said hey look where Charlie had his operashun what did they do Charlie put some brains in… Then Frank Reilly said what did you do Charlie forget your key and open your door the hard way. That made me laff. Their really my friends and they like me. 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.”
This conflict creates strong feelings of mood because the reader can see what Charlie can not. The author has put this small conflict to display moods/feelings of sadness and almost anger towards the current situation. Strong mood is being revealed here through the situation Charlie is in and what he feels towards it. The mood is being created because the reader sees whats really going on and that creates even more empathy towards Charlie.
“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 knew and once loved Before, they laughed at me and despised me for my ignorance and dullness; now, they hate me for my knowledge and understanding.”
At this point in the story Charlie has been pushed away from all his “friends.” He is slowly approaching a stage of utter sadness and depression. The mood is very different, Charlie had this great knowledge and the mood being put off here is sadness and irony in a way. Irony because the one thing he craved the most is the thing hurting him the most. Sadness because he is finally at content with himself but nobody else is. This shows his mind is even more powerful than anyone around him now.
“ And I had almost forgotten. I’d hidden the picture of the old Charlie Gordon from myself because now that I was intelligent it was something that had to be pushed out of my mind. But today in looking at that boy, for the first time I saw what I had been. I was just like him! Only a short time ago, I learned that people laughed at me. Now I can see that unknowingly I joined with them in laughing at myself. That hurts most of all.”
The mood this conflict sets off is anger. Charlie is certainly changed. The mood is almost sharp with guilt and disappointment. The reader feels as if Charlie is someone completely different than who we met in the beginning. Its almost setting off a feeling of betrayal and darkness as we the reader watches as Charlie breaks down. Charlie is going through stages of complete sadness, he is upset with himself for changing so much but so hurt that his new knowledge is only making things worse.
“Miss Kinnian came to the door but I said go away I don’t want to see you. She cried and I cried too but I wouldn’t let her in because I didn’t want her to laugh at me. I told her I didn’t like her any more. I told her I didn’t want to be smart any more. Thats not true. I still love her and I still want to be smart but 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. Please . . . please let me not forget how to read and write. .”
Charlie is in the process of losing all his gained intelligence and once again the mood is very glum and sad. You feel hope for Charlie that he won’t lose everything. This proves my claim because through the conflict, Charlie’s sadness and anger with himself is revealed to the reader. You watch as Charlie falls apart thread by thread. His brain is starting to have an opposite effect, which is creating tension in the story.
“Thats why Im going away from New York for good. I dont want to do nothing like that agen. I dont want Miss Kinnian to feel sorry for me. Evry body feels sorry at the factery and I dont want that eather so Im going someplace where nobody knows that Charlie Gordon was once a genus and now he cant even reed a book or rite good.”
The mood portrayed at the end is sadness like almost any other part of the book. I could almost say sadness is a theme of Flowers For Algernon. The mood is almost hollow at this point. Numb from the disappointment and melancholy that floods your head in this story.The reader feels deeply almost sorry for Charlie and what all happened to him. Through this conflict of him leaving New York City it presents a mood of extreme fearfulness that Charlie may not be okay.
Overall, Flowers For Algernon uses many literary devices to heighten the reader’s deeper understanding of the well-written plot. Laced within Daniel Keyes words is where the reader may find a world of technique. The haunting story, filled with its beautiful sadness, changes you. The grip it has on you from the moment you start to read releases you in the end with a chilling, gloomy sense of mind, leaving you reeling with sorrow. Keyes’ gracefully yet powerfully intertwines literary devices throughout the plot. Carefully creating mood through conflict, revealing character throughout the plot, foreshadowing through point of view and showing tone through Charlie’s thoughts. Flowers For Algernon is a well pieced together story with many devices being put into play that intensify the readers comprehension of the plot.