Study Guide

Flowers for Algernon Change

By Daniel Keyes


Change is a-comin' for Charlie Gordon in Flowers for Algernon, whether he likes it or not. And he likes it in some ways—he doesn't mind getting progressively smarter or landing a hottie like Alice Kinnian—but when the winds of change start blowing in the opposite direction, Charlie tries to dig his heels in and stay planted. Unfortunately, life doesn't work like that. All these changes make Charlie into a resilient person, though, which seems like a permanent shift.

Questions About Change

  1. Before the operation, is Charlie looking forward to change? What does he have to gain or lose?
  2. Other than Charlie, who goes through major changes in the story? Who stays stubbornly the same?
  3. At the end of the story, how does Charlie emotionally change?

Chew on This

Escaping the lab with Algernon allows Charlie to reflect on his ever-changing life.

Charlie's life would have been better if he never chose to make the biggest change of all: messing with his mind.