himel06

MH Himel Himel itibaren Shahbajpur, Uttar Pradesh 262122, Hindistan itibaren Shahbajpur, Uttar Pradesh 262122, Hindistan

Okuyucu MH Himel Himel itibaren Shahbajpur, Uttar Pradesh 262122, Hindistan

MH Himel Himel itibaren Shahbajpur, Uttar Pradesh 262122, Hindistan

himel06

The MOST UPLIFTING book EVER......I read it over and over and over...

himel06

I finished Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, which I picked up a few months back on some nostalgic childhood whim. I remember reading it when I was probably 10 or 11, I'm thinking it was 5th grade, and have been left all these years with the distinct impression that it was one of the best things I'd ever read. Not quite remembering the intricacies of the plot, I was curious to see why that was and if it is still true. It is. I have said this before, although perhaps not comprehensively or concisely, but I will try to do so again while keeping it relevant to my reflections on the book. I am not an overwhelmingly religious person. I have faith, yes, but it's an unspecified etherial sort of fashion that you could call fate or destiny or kismet or any of those other things that imply that there is some plan out there whether you consent to it or not. And I can't help but feel that it was one of those irresistible fingers of fate that pushed me to read this exact book at this exact time. The gist of the story I remembered - retarded man (okay, so it's not exactly PC by today's standards...) undergoes an operation that grants him with genius, albeit temporarily, and eventually declines to approximately his previous state. This progression is echoed and foreshadowed somewhat by a white mouse who had undergone a similar procedure. And this is exactly what you would expect a still emotionally immature child to take away from the book. Actually I wonder in retrospect if I read a perhaps abridged copy or only the short story because there were some very mature themes that would have been easily discernible to even inexperienced eyes. However, my youth was not one of censorship, so I'm fairly certain that I must have been exposed to the same words and simply took only as much from them as I was able to at the time. Rather than being some rote account of a fictional procedure that impacts the intellectual potential of a man, Flowers for Algernon is instead a journey of emotional exploration, of human capacity, and of the potentials and implications of physical love. As his intelligence increases, Charlie Gordon (our protagonist who has just tortured us with stifled, phonetic, and unedited prose which serves to illustrate his naive satisfaction and ambition in life leading up to the operation) starts on a journey to make sense of the things he has experienced in his life thus far. He has suffered a disappointed and mildly abusive mother, a bratty sister, and the ridicule of people that in his stupor he has believed to be his friends. Guiding him through this are some scientists at the University (who are not terribly well developed characters, but they are tertiary and this doesn't detract from the story) and Alice Kinnian, formerly his teacher at a special-education facility. Alice is a very interesting character, and in my opinion as a reader, it is a shame that we don't know more about her. She is a kind and compassionate woman who serves as a constant to the ever-changing spectrum of Charlie's mental faculties. She has taught him to read and write and recommended him for the procedure that could improve his abilities. It would be interesting to know more about WHY she chose Charlie, but the reason given to the reader has more to do with Charlie's motivations than Alice's - he is a dedicated worker eager to pursue knowledge, which later he says is a reflection of his mother's desire for him to be normal. Alice is fond of Charlie from the start and loves him throughout, even when the tables are turned in regards to their respective understanding and he vastly exceeds her brilliance. She stresses to him the value of who he was before the surgery, and in doing so shows him a kind of validation that no one else can offer. Because of this he loves her. LOVES her, and doesn't merely lust after her as he does other women. Also as a result of his love, Charlie's shadow-self prevents him from becoming intimately involved with her until he is able to come to terms with who he was and exactly the gift she is giving him with her acceptance. I don't usually pull direct quotes from books, but this bit was so perfect, so completely and analytically human that I want to be sure to get it down: "I don't pretend to understand the mystery of love, but this time it was more than sex, more than using a woman's body. It was being lifted off the earth, outside fear and torment, being part of something greater than myself. I was lifted out of the dark cell of my own mind, to become part of someone else - just as I had experienced it that day on the couch in therapy. It was the first step outward to the universe - beyond the universe - because in it and with it we merged to recreate and perpetuate the human spirit. Expanding and bursting outward and contracting and forming inward, it was the rhythm of being - of breathing, and heartbeat, of day and night - and the rhythm of our bodies set off an echo in my mind. It was the way it had been back there in that strange vision. The gray murk lifted from my mind, and through it the light pierced into my brain (how strange that light should blind!), and my body was absorbed back into a great sea of space, washed under in a strange baptism. My body shuddered with giving, and her body shuddered its acceptance. This was the way we loved, until the night became a silent day. And as I lay there with her I could see how important physical love was, how necessary it was for us to be in each other's arms, giving and taking. The universe was exploding, each particle away from the next, hurtling us into dark and lonely space, eternally tearing us away from each other - child out of the womb, friend away from friend, moving from each other, each through his own pathway toward the goal-box of solitary death. But this was the counterweight, the act of binding and holding. As when men to keep from being swept overboard in the storm clutch at each other's hands to resist being torn apart, so our bodies fused a link in the human chain that kept us from being swept into the nothing. And in the moment before I fell off into sleep, I remembered the way it had been between Fay and myself, and I smiled. No wonder that had been easy. It had been only physical. This with Alice was a mystery. I leaned over and kissed her eyes. Alice knows everything about me now, and accepts the fact that we can be together for only a short while. She has agreed to go away when I tell her to go. It's painful to think about that, but what we have, I suspect, is more than most people find in a lifetime." And eventually Charlie does tell her to go. His capacity to love her disintegrates with all the rest, and though it hurts her, she lets him go. She denies her claim to him so that he can find the pieces of himself that were what made her love him in the first place, the pieces lost to and eclipsed by his brief burden of genius. So Charlie does go on, back to where it began, and finds a special kind of peace in doing so. It's very bittersweet thing to the reader, who is by now crying out for some balance. Some way that Charlie can be kind AND smart, understand AND disregard, love and be loved... But this is not that story, and it ends much as it began. Which is rather the point, when you think about it - if someone could come to the kind of emotional understanding that he could love perfectly and in the moment, knowing that the end was looming, that even in living and loving together, we still die alone and then have the peace of forgetting that - well he has both learned something of infinite value, and received a blessing of fate in its loss. I thought it was a beautiful and touching story, and creatively written besides. I worry, though, about what happened to Alice... and I wonder if I always will?