Analysis Of Daniel Keyes Flowers For Algernon

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Daniel Keyes once stated that “I’ve learned that intelligence alone doesn’t mean a damn thing. It only leads to violence and pain” (Langer ¶ 26). This quote is derived from his novel Flowers for Algernon, which exposes society’s harsh attitudes toward the cognitively impaired. Daniel Keyes published his novels in the mid 1900s when psychological advancements were at a peak and the civil rights movement caused not only an awareness to the lives of African Americans, but also called attention to equal treatment for all (Hill 5). Within Flowers for Algernon and his other works, Daniel Keyes emphasizes awareness for the cognitively impaired using first person narration, pulling experiences from his life, and using his education in psychology to …show more content…

He wants his readers to understand the struggles they face by using first person narratives such as his book Flowers for Algernon and The Fifth Sally. Within Flowers for Algernon, he uses journal based progress reports to tell the story. This causes the story to feel as if it is real; thus, the readers feel a connection to Charlie and the events that he goes through. Furthermore, to connect the readers to the author’s characters, Keyes uses different dialects in accordance to the character that is speaking. These phonics add to the story and create a sense of being able to hear them and how they talk. Keyes’ use of dialects and first person narration improves the story line and creates a connection between the reader and the author’s …show more content…

Flowers for Algernon is #47 on American Association’s list of most challenged books (Banned 2009). This is due to the sections in which Charlie experiences a sexual awakening with his teacher Alice. Also, The Fifth Sally shows Sally having two affairs and talks about child molestation by her step-father. Lastly, In the Minds of Billy Milligan features a man who is a rapist on Ohio State’s campus. These books and his other works shows that his writing style can be risqué and to some, distasteful. He writes about hard hitting topics and he does not sugar coat the characters’ true feelings. Additionally, some parents at Glenrock, Wyoming disagreed with the passages in the book Flowers for Algernon; the parents surprisingly compared the book to pornography magazines such as Playboy and the Hustler (Munley ¶ 4). This caused the book to be banned for “Explicit, distasteful love scenes…” by Glen Rose High School, Oberlin High School, Glenrock High School, Plant City, Florida, and Emporium, Pennsylvania (¶

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