Flowers for Algernon


Daniel Keyes

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Flowers for Algernon can help.

Everything you need
for every book you read.

"Sooo much more helpful than SparkNotes. The way the content is organized
and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive."
Get LitCharts A+
  • Easy-to-use guides to literature, poetry, literary terms, and more
  • Super-helpful explanations and citation info for over 30,000 important quotes
  • Unrestricted access to all 50,000+ pages of our website and mobile app
Get LitCharts A+

Flowers for Algernon: Progris riport 1 Summary & Analysis

Martch 3. A man named Charlie Gordon writes in clumsy, badly spelled English. He says that two men named Doctor Strauss and Professor Nemur have told him to write down as much as possible about an upcoming operation that will make him “smart.” Charlie introduces himself: he works for a man named Mr. Donner at a bakery, where he makes a small wage. Charlie also attends night classes for mentally disabled adults. A teacher at these classes, named Miss Kinnian, has recommended him to Nemur and Strauss.
As the novel begins, we’re not sure exactly what’s going on, because we’re seeing through the eyes of a mentally disabled man. Even so, it’s important to note that from the start, Charlie Gordon has a clear, desire to become smarter. Charlie’s drive and ambition make him a sympathetic, relatable character for readers—and these qualities also lead him to become a tragic hero with the “fatal flaw” of hubris: too much pride and ambition, and of the kind that leads to one’s ultimate downfall.
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Intelligence vs. Wisdom and Morality Theme Icon
Pride, Hubris, and the Tragic Hero Theme Icon