“Flowers for Algernon, first published in 1959, is considered a landmark work on both science fiction and disability literature,” (Werlock 2009). The American Library Association reports that this novel was banned as an obscene for its love scenes. When the main character, Charlie Gordon, increases his IQ from 68 to a level that makes him a genius (after received experimental brain surgery), his maturity leads him to fall in love with his teacher, and a sexual encounter ensues. This caused Flowers for Algernon to be banned and challenged in many places (Plant City, Florida- 1976, Emporium, Pennsylvania- 1977, Oberlin High School (Ohio) - 1983, among others). Most people consider the sexual scenes fairly mild, but there are those who consider any mention of sexual behavior inappropriate for teens or pre-teens, hence the attempts at censorship. Many of the challenges have proved unsuccessful, but the book has occasionally been banned from school libraries including some in Pennsylvania and Texas. Flowers for Algernon has won numerous awards, even for the film, and it is regularly taught in schools around the world; therefore, it should remain on shelves.
Flowers for Algernon received a Nebula Award for Best Novel from the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1966. In addition, Cliff Robertson won an Oscar for acting in the movie Charly. Even the original version of the short story was published in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction received the Hugo Award for the Best Novelette of 1960. (http://www.danielkeyesauthor.com 22 May 2011). Many parents allow their children to watch television, and most shows have sexual content. If parents allow kids to watch this on a screen, they should also be allowed to read a book containing such a minimal amount of this matter. After receiving all these acknowledgements, Flowers for Algernon should not be banned.
Flowers for Algernon has been recognized by many administrators due to the fact that it would make an effective focus for reading and discussing in English class. For this reason, Flowers for Algernon has been used extensively throughout both middle and high school classes. Flowers for Algernon appears on reading lists, including the American Library Association’s Outstanding Books for the College Bound, the National Council of Teachers of English Books for You, and various others, as well. (http://fofweb.com 4 May 2011). The use of Flowers for Algernon has not been without censorship problems, mainly due to sexual and religious reasons, but it has been acknowledged as a great piece of literature (Karolides 253-54).
Flowers for Algernon has been banned and challenged by many parents in various schools. The novel was banned in schools in Florida (1976) and Arkansas (1981), and it has been challenged in Wyoming High School due to parents complaints’ (1984). Flowers for Algernon was banned due to its references to sex as well as a sexual encounter between Charlie and his teacher. Parents...