Conflict in Flowers for Algernon

Conflict in Flowers for Algernon
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Flowers for Algernon Lesson Plans

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Lesson Plans by Kristy Littlehale

Flowers for Algernon is a touching story about a man named Charlie, chosen for an experiment that offers him the opportunity to become “smart”, his deepest wish in life. The novel brings up several important themes and questions, including the ethics of human experimentation, the mistreatment of the mentally disabled in society, and the relationship between intellect and human interactions.

Flowers for Algernon

Storyboard Description

Flowers for Algernon Literary Conflict

Storyboard Text

  • MAN vs MAN
  • There was something in you before: a warmth, and openness, a kindness that made everyone like you. Now...
  • MAN vs SELF
  • Pulling a Charlie Gordon again, huh, Charlie?
  • Charlie and Alice quarrel with one another when she finally becomes angry with the change in Charlie’s attitude. She tells him that he has changed and he’s lost the qualities that used to make him likeable. Charlie responds in anger because he feels like everyone expects him to stay the same so they can continue to treat him with cruelty.
  • Charlie feels like he is being watched by “Charlie,” a disassociated version of himself. He says that you can’t put up a new building without destroying the old one, and the older version of Charlie interrupts his thoughts and comes between the relationships and experiences he’s trying to understand.
  • The workers at the bakery treat Charlie differently before and after the surgery. Before, Joe, Frank, and Gimpy tease Charlie viciously and see him as a target for their pranks and jokes. Once Charlie’s intelligence increases, they begin to fear him because they don’t understand the change. They stop talking to him and become openly hostile towards him.
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