Study Guide

Flowers for Algernon Guilt and Blame

By Daniel Keyes

Guilt and Blame

If anyone in Flowers for Algernon has a reason to blame others, it's Charlie. Rejected by his family, mocked by fake friends, and used by Nemur and Strauss, Charlie could have a heckuva lot of anger toward the people who hurt him. While Charlie doesn't exactly go blaming willy-nilly, he does have some misplaced frustration that he tries to work out through forgiveness. And because of his messed-up childhood, Charlie has plenty of guilt about things that aren't his fault. Someone get him to yoga, stat.

Questions About Guilt and Blame

  1. Who does Charlie blame for his emotional issues?
  2. Does Charlie have any reason to feel guilty? Does he do anything wrong to the people he loves?
  3. Do you think Rose, Norma, and Matt feel guilty for abandoning Charlie?
  4. Do you blame Charlie for his treatment of Alice?

Chew on This

Rather than assign blame for his lot in life, Charlie is determined to succeed.

Charlie doesn't blame Strauss and Nemur for putting him through the surgery—he's happy that he had the experience, even though he ultimately pays a hefty price.