Sunday, July 26, 2009

Flowers for B.W.

After admiring Daniel Keyes' Flowers for Algernon since my sixties teen-age years, it finally struck me the other day why this story of a mentally challenged fella who becomes a genius and then falls back again is so compelling. (By the way, Keyes apparently posted Charlie Gordon's story in blog form - very cool!)

It's so simple that it took around 40 years for me to figure it out. We're all Charlie Gordon, except for the part where our brains are boosted in a scientific experiment.

We all begin with a childlike innocence and feel our way towards knowledge. We all fall in love with the teacher and gain knowledge and confidence and wisdom (hopefully) along the way.

And, of course, we all lose bits and pieces of our abilities as time inexorably takes its toll on our finite minds and bodies. In the end we are mentally challenged and childlike again.

So no wonder we (OK, I can't speak for you) - so no wonder I choked up and tears flowed as Charlie's mind slips away. Even as an all-powerful teen, something somewhere inside me sensed this was Every Man's Fate.

Great story. Fine movie, great performance by Cliff Robertson. And most of all ...

Uhh - where was I going with this again?

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Anonymous Tom Ender said...

Great book and movie..

3:46 AM  

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