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The Parallels Of Keyes And Flowers For Algernon

687 words - 3 pages

What makes a book successful? Perhaps it is the characters and their varying personalities that make them memorable and realistic, or maybe it’s the thought-provoking plotline with its many twists and turns. One of the elements to a good book is most definitely the characters, and a good number of main characters gain their characteristics when the author encounters someone similar in their life. This encounter makes the character seem real, someone the reader can relate to. The same inspiration can be said happened for Flowers for Algernon. Specific events in Daniel Keyes’s life led to the formation of many main characters.
Daniel Keyes was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 9, 1927. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology after serving in the U.S. Maritime Service as a purser at the age of seventeen. Along with this degree, he was permitted to teach English in the schools of New York City, the setting for Flowers for Algernon. The award-winning short story version of Flowers for Algernon was written during this time period. He later wrote the novel version of the book, adding a number of characters and events to enhance the story.
The idea for Charlie Gordon came to be in a unique way. The idea of artificial increase of intelligence had already occurred to him four years ago, when his parents urged him to pursue a pre-medical education as opposed to his wish to become a writer. Consequently, he felt that this was “driving a wedge” between him and his parents. He began to venture and explore the possibilities of increasing natural human intelligence. He thought of Aristotle, who said that “a tragedy can only happen to the highborn, because there can be a tragic fall only from a great height.” After he received a license to teach English, he taught classes for those with a lower learning ability at his former high school. The actual character for Charlie Gordon really started to form when one of his students...

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