Flowers For Algernon Essay Picture this, you have just read the best book ever, and you see they have a movie of it. You watch the movie, and intently hate it. Don’t you hate it when that happens? The movie, Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keyes, is not true to the short story, either. There are many reasons for why this is. There are similarities and differences all throughout the movie. Some differences are major, that change most of the short story, and others are small. These will be explained throughout the paper. For starters, the major differences.
The biggest difference in the short story and the movie, was the relationship between Charlie and Miss Kinnian. In the short story, they have a friendly teacher-student relationship. Charlie, as he is growing smarter, realizes that he is in love with Miss Kinnian. In the movie, Charlie thinks she is the smartest teacher in the world. After Charlie has the operation, he sees her more as a woman he loves, than a friendly teacher. He starts calling Miss Kinnian by her first name, Alice. They start spending much time together outside of the classroom.
Charlie kisses Miss Kinnian in the movie and starts a love relationship. This was not in the short story. Charlie fell in love with Alice, but had never started a love relationship. Another difference that changed the short story around, was the interview in Chicago. Dr. Strauss had chosen to take Charlie to Chicago for an interview as the first person to have the operation. At the interview, they show a video of Charlie before he had the operation. Dr. Strauss was going to talk about Charlie and the operation himself, but Charlie asks to speak to the audience. Dr. Strauss hesitatingly did so.
Charlie told the audience he had been doing research and found that Dr. Strauss had copied an experiment. The experiment had bad outcomes just like Charlie’s and Algernon’s. Dr. Strauss knew about the experiment, but continued it anyway. Charlie confirmed that the intelligence would wear off just as fast as it took it to reach it’s peak. He called the theory the Algernon-Gordon Effect. After that, Charlie let free all of the mice the doctors had in cages. He took Algernon back to his hotel room and started to pack. Miss Kinnian came in after and fought with Charlie.
In the short story, Charlie never went to Chicago. He never mentioned Dr. Strauss copying the experiment, either. Another big difference of the short story and movie, was after the interview. In the movie, Charlie found his mother’s address and went to visit her. He wanted to know why he was sent away. When he knocks on the door, his mother sees him, but does not open the door. Instead, she stands in the house, not saying anything. Charlie gets frustrated and breaks through the glass on the door. He unlocks the door and gets into the house. His mother is shocked at his actions.
In the house, Charlie and his mother talk about why he was sent away. She tells him he had started having emotional outbursts, mostly anger. She got worried about him, so she sent him away to a home. In the short story, Charlie was never able to meet his mother or talk to her. The last difference, and possible one of the majors, Charlie never left in the movie. At the end of the short story, Charlie leaves Miss Kinnian a note. It reads that he is leaving to go somewhere no one knew he was dumb, then intelligent, and then dumb again. The cause? He felt that everyone was taking pity on him for what happened.
Charlie didn’t want any of this, and decided to leave. At the end of the movie, Miss Kinnian is crying about More smaller differences included where Charlie buried Algernon after he died. In the short story, Charlie buried Algernon in his apartment backyard after finding him dead. He buried him in a cheese box. In the movie, Charlie was there when Algernon died. He then buried him on campus under a tree. He buried Algernon in a match box. Also, in the movie, there was no Dr. Nemur. In the short story, Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur were partners in the study of the experiment.
They would argue about who’s experiment it was and who would get the credit, which Charlie heard one day. Dr. Strauss performed the experiment alone, no Dr. Nemur whatsoever in the movie. Now for the similarities of the two. For the most part, everything else was the same throughout the short story and movie. Charlie, starting out mentally challenged, had an operation that made him intelligent for a limited period of time. He thus becomes so highly intelligent, he feels disconnected from humanity. In the end of the short story and movie, he has lost all intelligence and becomes dumb again.
The rest of the characters mentioned in the short story and movie were all the same. We got more details of the students in the class with Charlie, but everything was the same as in the short story. There were no changes to the personalities. Charlie’s co-workers were still mean and teasing to him before the operation. They would knock him around, make fun of him, and get him in trouble. He never realized this until after the operation. Charlie lived in an apartment near the campus, in the short story and movie. He also got his own lab for research.
He did this when he found out what was going on with Algernon and started studying to find a cure. the plot of the short story and the movie matched up nicely for the most part. In the beginning of the movie, before the operation, Charlie had many tests to measure his intelligence. He had a Rorschach test and a maze game with Algernon. He read many books with Miss Kinnian such as, Robin Crusoe and Treasure Island. Charlie worked at the factory, where his co-workers made fun of him while he was dumb. After the operation, Charlie realized what they were doing and got an attitude.
The workers eventually signed a petition to fire Charlie. After being fired, Charlie got deeply angry and depressed about the world and the way he was before. By then, Algernon is losing his intelligence, which is what sparked up Charlie’s motivation to do research. He found a reason for why Algernon was becoming uncooperative, angry, and inactive. He called it the AlgernonGordon Effect. It was the effect of the operation. When the person had the operation, they would become intelligent over a period of time. When the intelligence reached it’s peak, it would decrease at the same speed it had developed.
Charlie frantically did research trying to find a cure. Unfortunately, Algernon dies and Charlie starts to lose his intelligence so quickly, he can’t understand his own research. In the end, Charlie is dumb again. Though the ending in the short story and movie are not the same, Charlie’s story stays the same. In conclusion, there are many similarities in the movie, as well as many differences. They both had the same main idea, but the movie had many random events not in the short story. Those are all the reasons of why the short story and movie were not true to each other.