Flowers for Algnernon

by Daniel Keyes

An incredible read.

The journey of Charlier and Algernon mirrors our journey through life. We start off “dumb” yet enthusiastic for our future. As we accumulate and analyze our experiences in life, we start to slowly become disillusioned with our surroundings, finding it hard to keep the same cheerful outlook that we once had. Later in life, we start to appreciate the small things and once again, we’re left with a sense of happiness.

I don’t think that the point of the book was to point out that intelligence is inversely correlated with happiness. Rather, thinking back on my own life, I think the lesson here is that as we go through life and accumulate more experiences, those experiences become a baggage or weight that slowly crushes us. As I’m writing this, I can think of plenty of unhappy experiences in my life that at least subconsciously prohibit me from treading down the same path. Perhaps that’s the point of humanity, seeing and doing gives us an unnaturally positive slice of life at first. But as we start to slowly accumulate experiences and learnings to avoid future mistakes, they also slowly poison us inside. My thoughts on this aren’t fully fleshed out but I’ll write about it sometime!

Overall, I would recommend Flowers for Algernon to anyone.


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