2Genre: Science Fiction a broad genre of fiction that often takes place in the future and usually involves speculations based on current science.It is commonly abbreviated as SF or Sci-Fi.Science fiction is found in books, art, television, movies, games, theater, and other media.
3Author: Daniel Keyes Born in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York City. American author, not primarily of science fiction.He is best known for his award-winning novelette “Flowers for Algernon” which he adapted into his same-name first novel (1966).
4PlotCharlie Gordon is a mentally handicapped man with an IQ of about 70. He is chosen to partake in a science experiment that will “make him smart.” There is a lot of growth that Charlie must go through (intellectually and emotionally) before discovering many truths about himself, the people around him, and his purpose in life.
5StructureFlowers for Algernon is unique in its structure. Rather than having chapters to separate its sections, it uses “progress reports” that Charlie is required to write as data for the experiment. Therefore, the short story is written entirely from Charlie’s point of view and contains memories and flashbacks as well as daily accounts of his learning and growth. Being the central figure in the experiment, his perspective of the world changes, and certainly challenges the reader’s imagination and moral position.
6Themes/Motifs1. Mistreatment of the Mentally Disabled: based on how society treats Charlie with his low IQ. In addition, it includes Charlie’s perspective of the disabled and how he continues to be treated after his operation.
7Themes/Motifs2. Intellect vs. Emotion: Charlie’s situation certainly illustrates the difficulty of developing both intellect and emotion without conflict. The story also has characters that represent both “ends”: pure intellect and pure emotion.
8Themes/Motifs3. Persistence of Past with the Present: As seen in Charlie’s recorded memories, the past consistently reveals itself and is a significant factor in Charlie’s perspective of the world. It also helps the reader to understand the person that Charlie is.
9Symbols1. Algernon: The mouse that is Charlie’s laboratory “equal” and obviously represents Charlie on several levels. Algernon’s progress echoes Charlie’s. As well, Charlie feels, at times, more like a laboratory animal than a human being.
10Symbols2. Window: Charlie recollects or feels that he is viewing the outside world through a window. It represents his emotional distance by watching the outside world through a barrier.
12Word Meanings CONNOTATION The personal connection to the word what comes to mindimplied additional meaning: an additional sense associated with or suggested by a word or phraseEx: HomeDENOTATIONThe Dictionary definitionbasic meaning: the most specific or literal meaning of a word, as opposed to its figurative senses or connotationsEx: House
13Retard: Connotation & Denotation Mental retardation is a term still used, but because of its negative connotations, the term intellectual/developmental disability is now appropriate.
14Rorschach TestPsychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behaviour.Psychologists use exams to study different human activity, which may help them find the cause of problems in individuals’ daily lives. Once an individual has been assessed, an appropriate treatment of mental illness may be implemented.
29Multiple Intelligences Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is a psychological and educational theory which suggests that many different kinds of “intelligence” exists in human beings.Each individual has different levels of these different intelligences.In other words, we all have different talents.
38Writing a THESIS STATEMENT The thesis statement must serve two purposes.It must both identify the work about which you are writing, and;it must clearly give the point you are using this work to prove.
39Writing a THESIS STATEMENT In order to succeed in these two purposes, the following format is suggested:“In the (novel/play/film), , the author develops the idea that…” The sentence is completed with a specific statement that will be proven with the textual examples presented in the essay. This format helps eliminate confusion in your introduction, and also helps prevent signposting (explicit statements about the writing process).
40ExamplesIn the novel, The Chrysalids, the author John Wyndham develops the idea that discrimination does nothing but spread fear.”In the novel, The Memory-Keeper’s Daughter, by Kim Edwards, the author develops the idea that a well-constructed lie is easier to believe than the truth.
41Interpreting QUOTATIONS & EXAMPLES Quotations & Examples serve as evidence from the text to help prove your thesis statement.Use the following four steps of interpretation EVERY TIME you use a quotation or textual example to prove your thesis:1. Provide the quotation using the proper format, and exact wording used in the play.2. Interpret the quotation by explaining its context and how it proves your point, as well as giving other examples from the play to support your argument if necessary.3. Clearly relate the quotation and any examples back to your thesis.4. IF you cannot complete step 3, you need to choose a quotation more suited to your topic
42SymbolsA literary symbol is something that means more than what it is literally. It is an object, person, situation, action or some other item, which has a literal meaning in the story, but also suggests or represents other deeper meanings.Literary symbols are symbols that have a meaning within a particular story, but not outside it.Conventional symbols keep their meaning, no matter where they appear.
43SymbolsUsing something to represent an idea (symbolism = using symbols)i.e.maple leaf = CanadaHeart = loveDove = peaceCross = God, church, religion