Sunday, January 15, 2012

Flowers For Algernon

One of my favorite novels is Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. This is the story of Charly Gordon, a developmentally disabled young man who undergoes experimental surgery that transforms him into a brilliant scientist. Charly works alongside the scientists who discovered the procedure and discovers that the effect is only short term, when one of the test mice, Algernon, begins to regress. The Oscar-winning adaptation of the novel, "Charly", was released in 1968.

I sometimes feel that I am living the novel as I see my dad struggle when doing something that he used to be able to do without any thought. Dad recognizes that he used to know things and can't remember them now, and that is discouraging for him, as well as for me. It seems that he is losing skills in reverse order as to when he acquired the skills. Most recently he struggles with technology applications; navigating around his computer, using features on an iPhone, or finding the address book on his cordless phone, for example. However, when it comes to investments and the stock market, he is still sharp as a tack.

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