What is the conflict in Flowers for Algernon?

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dalepowell1962 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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In answering this question, it is important to note that "Flowers for Algernon" started as a short story and was later turned into a novel.  naturally, the subsequent novel had more complex conflicts than the short story.

However, the central conflict in both versions of the story center on Charlie's changed life as his intelligence grows, both in his interaction with his co-workers and his growing love for his teacher.  Furthermore, the state of degeneration that his mental growth has on Algernon is a horrible conflict that goes on within Charlie.  Ultimately, Charlie's changing his mind is insufficient to save Algernon's life.

 

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