Flowers for Algernon Quotes

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I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.

1024

Thank God for books and music and things I can think about.

505

Now I understand that one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you've believed in all your life aren't true, and that nothing is what it appears to be.

430

I am afraid. Not of life, or death, or nothingness, but of wasting it as if I had never been.

389

Its easy to make frends if you let pepul laff at you.

277

That's the thing about human life--there is no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed.

244

How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibilty, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes—how such people think nothing of abusing a man with low intelligence.

191

...Don't feel sorry for me. I'm glad I had a second chance in life like you said to be smart because I learned a lot of things that I never knew were in this world, and I'm grateful I saw it even for a little bit.

190

Punctuation, is? fun!

181

A child may not know how to feed itself, or what to eat, yet it knows hunger.

166

The path I choose through the maze makes me what I am. I am not only a thing, but also a way of being--one of many ways--and knowing the paths I have followed and the ones left to take will help me understand what I am becoming.

156

There are so many doors to open. I am impatient to begin."--Charlie Gordan

148

Why am I always looking at life through a window?

138

Strange about learning; the farther I go the more I see that I never knew even existed. A short while ago I foolishly thought I could learn everything - all the knowledge in the world. Now I hope only to be able to know of its existence, and to understand one grain of it. Is there time?

120

There are a lot of people who will give money or materials, but very few who will give time and affection.

114

Just leave me alone. I'm not myself. I'm falling apart, and I don't want you here.

82

Who's to say that my light is better than your darkness? Who's to say death is better than your darkness? Who am I to say?

81

Even in the world of make-believe there have to be rules. The parts have to be consistent and belong together.

73

No one really starts anything new, Mrs. Nemur. Everyone builds on other men's failures. There is nothing really original in science. What each man contributes to the sum of knowledge is what counts.

64

How can I make him understand that he did not create me?He makes the same mistake as the others when they look at a feeble-minded person and laugh because they don't understand there are human feelings involved.

58

Even a feeble-minded man wants to be like other men."--Charlie Gordan

48

Only a short time ago, I learned that people laughed at me. Now I can see that unknowingly I joined them in laughing at myself. That hurts the most.

47

And now - Plato's words mock me in the shadows on the ledge behind the flames: '...the men of the cave would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes.

41

I’m exceptional- a democratic term used to avoid the damning labels of gifted and deprived (which used to mean bright and retarded) and as soon as exceptional begins to mean anything to anyone they’ll change it. The idea seems to be: use an expression as long as it doesn’t mean anything to anybody. Exceptional refers to both ends of the spectrum, so all my life I’ve been exceptional.

39

So this is how a person can come to despise himself-knowing he's doing the wrong thing and not being able to stop.

33

The universe was exploding, each particle away from the next, hurtling us into dark and lonely space, eternally tearing us away from each other - child out of the womb, friend away from friend, moving from each other, each through his own pathway towards the goal-box of solitary death.

28

Dr Strauss said I had something that was very good. He said I had a good motor-vation. I never ever knew I had that. I felt proud when he said that not every body with an eye-q of 68 had that thing. I don't know what it is or where I got it but he said Algernon had it too. Algernons motor-vation is the cheese they put in his box. But it cant be that because I didnt eat any cheese last week.

25

I see now that when Norma flowered in our garden I became a weed, allowed to exist only where I would not be seen, in corners and dark places.

24

The answer can't be found in books - or be solved by bringing it to other people. Not unless you want to remain a child all your life. You've got to find the answer inside you - feel the right thing to do. Charlie, you've got to learn to trust yourself

23

The only question now is: How much can I hang on to?

22

I’m like a man who’s been half-asleep all his life, trying to find out what he was like before he woke up.

22

Even in the world of make-believe there have to be rules. The parts have to be consistent and belong together. This kind of picture is a lie. Things are forced to fit because the writer or the director or somebody wanted something in that didn't belong. And it doesn't feel right.

20

I put Algernon's body in a cheese box and buried him in the backyard. I cried.

20

I passed your floor on the way up, and now I’m passing it on the way down, and I don’t think I’ll be taking this elevator again.

20

Because I want to see. I've got to know what's going to happen while I'm still enough in control to be able to do something about it.

18

The problem, dear professor, is that you wanted someone who could be made intelligent but still be kept in a cage and displayed when necessary to reap the honors you seek. The hitch is that I'm a person.

17

All the barriers were gone. I had unwound the string she had given me, and found my way out of the labyrinth to where she was waiting. I loved her with more than my body.

16

I was her bestist pupil in the Beckman School for retarted adults and I tryed the hardist becus I reely wantd to lern I wantid it more even then pepul who are smarter even then me.

15

I may not have all the time I thought I had...

15

When he admitted this to me, I found myself almost annoyed. It was as if he'd hidden this part of himself in order to deceive me, pretending-- as do many people I've discovered--to be what he is not. No one I've ever known is what he appears to be on the surface.

13

One of the things that confuses me is never really knowing when something comes up from my past, whether it really happened that way, or if that was the way it seemed to be at the time, or if I’m inventing it. I’m like a man who’s been half-asleep all his life, trying to find out what he was like before he woke up.

13

How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibility, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes—how such people think nothing of abusing a man born with low intelligence.

13

What an incredible thing! How much less they had than other human beings. Mentally retarded, deaf, mute - and still eagerly sanding benches.

12

The more intelligent you become the more problems you’ll have, Charlie.

11

People resent being shown that they don't approach the complexities of the problem - they don't know what exists beyond the surface ripples.

11

Light and unfeeling. Drifting and expanding through time and space. And then, as I know I am about to pierce the crust of existence, like a flying fish leaping out of the sea, I feel the pull from below.

11

What has happened to me? Why am I so alone in the world?

10

I can't help but admire the structural linguists who have carved out forthemselves a linguistic discipline based on the deterioration of writtencommunication. Another case of men devoting their lives to studying more and more about less and less-filling volumes and libraries with the subtle linguistic analysis of the grunt.

10

Alice knows everything about me, and accepts the fact that we can be together for only a short while. She has agreed to go away when I tell her to go. It's painful to think about that, but what we have, I suspect, is more than most people find in a lifetime.

10

Here look at me. I'm Charlie, the son you wrote off the books? Not that I blame you for it, but here I am, all fixed up better than ever. Test me. Ask me questions. I speak twenty languages, living and dead; I'm a mathematical whiz, and I'm writing a piano concerto that will make them remember me long after I'm gone.

10