Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Daniel Keyes's Flowers for Algernon. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Flowers for Algernon: Context
Flowers for Algernon: Plot Summary
Flowers for Algernon: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Flowers for Algernon: Themes
Flowers for Algernon: Quotes
Flowers for Algernon: Characters
Flowers for Algernon: Symbols
Flowers for Algernon: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Daniel Keyes
Historical Context of Flowers for Algernon
Other Books Related to Flowers for Algernon
- Full Title: Flowers for Algernon
- Where Written: New York City
- When Published: March 1966
- Literary Period: 1960s science fiction
- Genre: Science fiction / Bildungsroman
- Setting: New York City / Chicago, the 1960s
- Climax: Charlie Gordon reunites with his mother and his sister
- Antagonist: Charlie’s hubris and arrogance
- Point of View: The novel is written in the “epistolary” style, consisting of a series of journal entries and letters, written by Charlie Gordon in the first person
Extra Credit for Flowers for Algernon
Tearjerker: Flowers for Algernon was popular when it was published in 1966, and within 2 years it had been made into the film Charly, starring Cliff Robertson. The film was a commercial and critical success, and wound up winning Robertson the Academy Award for Best Actor. It’s still regarded as one of the most effective Hollywood tearjerkers.
Never trust your editor: When Daniel Keyes sent in the original short story version of “Flowers for Algernon,” his editor almost forced him to change the ending. Apparently, the editor felt that Keyes’ ending was too depressing, and thought that an ending in which Charlie gets to keep his intelligence would be more popular. Good thing Keyes didn’t listen.