ELA
Original PPT by Mrs.
Okie
Modified by Mr. Dowd
Flowers for Algernon
Genre: Science Fiction
● A broad genre of fiction that often takes place in the
future and usually involves speculations based on
current science.
● Commonly abbreviated as SF or Sci-Fi.
● Science fiction is found in books, art, television,
movies, games, theater, and other media.
Author: Daniel Keyes
● Born in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York City.
● American author, not primarily of science fiction.
● He is best known for his
award-winning novelette
“Flowers for Algernon”
which he adapted into his
same-name first novel (1966).
Plot
● Charlie Gordon is a mentally handicapped man with
an IQ of about 70. He is chosen to partake in a
science experiment that will “make him smart.”
There is a lot of growth that Charlie must go through
(intellectually and emotionally) before discovering
many truths about himself, the people around him,
and his purpose in life.
Structure
● Flowers for Algernon is unique in its structure.
● uses “progress reports” that Charlie is required to
write as data for the experiment.
● The short story is written entirely from Charlie’s
point of view and
● Contains memories, flashbacks, daily accounts of
his learning and growth.
Phonetic Spelling
● Phonetic spelling is spelling things the way that
they sound.
● Example: “photograph” would be “fotograf”.
● Example 2: “great” would be “grate” or “gr8”.
● You’ll notice that in Flowers for Algernon, Charlie
uses phonetic spelling.
Themes/Motifs
1. Mistreatment of the Mentally Disabled: based on
how society treats Charlie with his low IQ. In
addition, it includes Charlie’s perspective of the
disabled and how he continues to be treated after his
operation.
Themes/Motifs
2. Intellect vs. Emotion: Charlie’s situation certainly
illustrates the difficulty of developing both intellect
and emotion without conflict. The story also has
characters that represent both “ends”: pure intellect
and pure emotion.
Themes/Motifs
3. Persistence of Past with the Present: As seen in
Charlie’s recorded memories, the past consistently
reveals itself and is a significant factor in Charlie’s
perspective of the world. It also helps the reader to
understand the person that Charlie is.
Symbols
1. Algernon: The mouse
that is Charlie’s
laboratory “equal” and
obviously represents
Charlie on several levels.
Algernon’s progress
echoes Charlie’s. As well,
Charlie feels, at times,
more like a laboratory
animal than a human
being.
Symbols
2. Window: Charlie
recollects or feels that he
is viewing the outside
world through a window.
It represents his
emotional distance by
watching the outside
world through a barrier.
Rorschach Test
● Psychology is the
scientific study of mental
processes and behaviour.
● Psychologists use exams
to study different human
activity, which may help
them find the cause of
problems in individuals’
daily lives so appropriate
treatment of mental
illness may be
implemented.
Rorschach Test
Rorschach Test
Ten faces in the tree?
Multiple Intelligences
● Howard Gardner’s theory
of multiple intelligences
is a psychological and
educational theory which
suggests that many
different kinds of
“intelligence” exists in
human beings.
● Each individual has
different levels of these
different intelligences.
● In other words, we all
have different talents.
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flowers for algernon - notes