Themes In Flowers For Algernon

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The novel Flowers for Algernon written by Daniel Keyes effectively explores the complex human experiences of disability and the impact that it has on individuals and society through its three major themes; Self-realisation , Alienation and loneliness and treatment of the mentally disabled by society. Through these themes this response will highlight the difficulties experienced by people with disabilities and the people in their lives.
The first theme in Flowers for Algernon is self-realisation. Charlie’s new found knowledge has allowed him to have the ability to voice his needs and wants for understanding, acceptance, and love. Before Charlies operation he was not able to express his feelings accurately, but Charlies temporary intelligence
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The novel portrays the alienation and loneliness individuals go through and how they react to being isolated when trying to be accepted by society. Charlie desired to be intelligent so he could have a lot of friends and so people would like him yet when he had surgery to triple his i.Q he finds that he is singled out and isolated from others around him. Charlie’s limited emotional maturity also creates a barrier between him and others around him which disables him to understand and connect with others. People around Charlie are having trouble relating to him as they are alarmed at his new found intellect. The techniques which represents this theme are rhetorical question and rhyme .The quote that represents this is “It may sound like ingratitude, but that is one of the things I hate here-the attitude that I am a guinea pig. Nemur’s constant references to having made me what I am, or that someday there will be others like me who will become real human beings. How can I make him understand that he did not create me?” The effect created separates Charlie from being normal, make him question his existence and isolates him into a new category of human which makes him feel alienated and alone. Nemur’s constant mention of having ‘made him’ moreover disconnects him from forming connections and having emotional maturity leading him to be alone and
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