Flowers for Algernon

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“Flowers for Algernon, first published in 1959, is considered a landmark work on both science fiction and disability literature,” (Werlock 2009). The American Library Association reports that this novel was banned as an obscene for its love scenes. When the main character, Charlie Gordon, increases his IQ from 68 to a level that makes him a genius (after received experimental brain surgery), his maturity leads him to fall in love with his teacher, and a sexual encounter ensues. This caused Flowers for Algernon to be banned and challenged in many places (Plant City, Florida- 1976, Emporium, Pennsylvania- 1977, Oberlin High School (Ohio) - 1983, among others). Most people consider the sexual scenes fairly mild, but there are those who consider any mention of sexual behavior inappropriate for teens or pre-teens, hence the attempts at censorship. Many of the challenges have proved unsuccessful, but the book has occasionally been banned from school libraries including some in Pennsylvania and Texas. Flowers for Algernon has won numerous awards, even for the film, and it is regularly taught in schools around the world; therefore, it should remain on shelves.

Flowers for Algernon received a Nebula Award for Best Novel from the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1966. In addition, Cliff Robertson won an Oscar for acting in the movie Charly. Even the original version of the short story was published in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction received the Hugo Award for the Best Novelette of 1960. ( 22 May 2011). Many parents allow their children to watch television, and most shows have sexual content. If parents allow kids to watch this on a screen, they should also be allowed to read a book contain...

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...pread and resulted in a better-than-average television movie, which was under the title The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon (Werlock 2009). Due to its accomplishments, the novel Flowers for Algernon should not be banned.

“If there is bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable,” states William J. Brenna of the Supreme Court. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, is criticized for sexual, religious, and unmoral themes and are the reasons for opposition. However, these examples do not give reason for banning any literature, especially when it has an important, underlying lesson of how wisdom does not make the person but can actually hurt them. Therefore, Flowers for Algernon should not be banned and should remain on shelves.

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