All posts for the month January, 2013

“Flower’s for Algernon’s” Narrative Power

Published January 10, 2013 by flyingren

Flower For Algernon’s Narrative Power


The author’s remarkable use of first person narrative is perhaps the most important source of “Flower’s for Algernon’s” narrative power. The story takes you through the main character Charlie’s journey from an IQ of 68 to almost three times as high, and fall back to his subnormal intelligence. Everything is told in the form of “Progress Reports” written by Charlie for a group of scientists working to raise his IQ. Reading the story from Charlie’s point of view help the readers to understand the story and get to know Charlie very well. “Flowers for Algernon” wouldn’t have been a great short story if it wasn’t written in first person.


Reading a story that uses third person narrative makes it hard to understand a character, especially if he or she is mentally challenged like Charlie. It’s not easy for a normal person to know what’s really going on inside a mentally disabled man’s head. A perfect example is when Charlie took the inkblot test, the scientist were trying to figure out what Charlie was thinking. Although it might be hard for them to understand, the readers get to know exactly what he’s thinking because it’s from he’s point of view. Through his eyes, the readers understands his struggles and the way Charlie explains everything makes the story come alive.


Charlie’s way of explaining the story made it feel realistic. It’s exciting, funny, and emotional at times, something that wouldn’t be the same if it was written in third person. When he was going back to being subnormal, the readers can really feel how emotional it was for him. If it was written by someone else, it would be just normal because to them it’s just an experiment but through Charlie it’s easy to understand how emotional it was.


“Flower’s for Algernon” is a great story, partly because it was written in first person as this unique and different man. Most people don’t know what it’s like being mentally challenged, but “Flowers for Algernon” takes the readers there and shows them that it’s not easy being like Charlie. This story shows that the written perspective of a story is very important, and first person narrative can bring stories to life.

" An amazing short story that changed my way of looking at disabled people."

” An amazing short story that changed my way of looking at disabled people.”