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Flowers For Algernon -Narrative Form Of The Novel

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Response To Prompt 1

Think about the narrative form of the novel. How does the diaristic, journal- entry form affect the emphasis of the narrative? Is Charlie dependable as a narrator as he progresses through his various stages? Is Charlie capable of providing insight into the other characters, or is he too preoccupied with himself?

Flowers for Algernon

The Flowers for Algernon written by Daniel Key engages many human topics such as intellectual abilities over moral character, the reliance of the present to the past, and views of society on the mentally retarded. Keys effectively accomplishes though protagonist Charlie Gordon. The novel is composed in a first person journal format which allows the reader not only to see the world from Charlie's view but incorporates several core characters with Charlie providing insight into their lives and motives. This manner of writing captivates and enthuses the reader to follow on his journey of self discovery.

As the novel beginnings Charlie write progress note in a rudimentary format with misspellings and grammar conflicts yet show his desires to "get smart". This Charlie is dull but still provides insight by reciting however various people act such Alice being nervous before his operation or why he was even chosen for the operation. After the operation intelligence is slow to come to Charlie, we learn that he was abused emotionally as a child and it continued to his elder years. The progress notes emit their true value here as provide basis for examining the change and development of his intelligence. Charlie emotional descent comes soon after his intelligence raises rapidly, this especially evident in his distrust of Burt, a psychological doctor, who has treated Charlie well to this point. Charlie discloses to us that he feels he needs to hide his personal entries and while he cannot understand this need the reader can use judgment. His emotional comes when states his intelligence has changed the way he feels for Alice. As he returns to his apartment he analyzes his feelings for Alice like reading a book. The progress note allows Charlie to self evaluate himself so we can better understand him. Towards the point of retardation Charlie expresses his fears and wants to retain some knowledge, facts only Charlie Gordon could share.

Charlie has no past life to speak off in the beginning of the novel but as the story progress Charlie refers to himself in the third person showing the distance he feels between the two Charlie's. This view is particularly useful when creating a distinction emotionally between the Charlie's, often in the dreams he experiences, he alludes to his sister's hate and his mothers distaste



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