Based solely on the title, "Flowers for Algernon," would you guess that the book is a comedy, a tragedy, a tragicomedy, or a history? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The title, Flowers for Algernonmakes me feel that the story is most likely a tragedy. Though I have read this book before, when I consider the title alone, it makes me think of occasions when you might give someone flowers. Flowers may be given as gifts as a sign of romantic love, celebration, or as a gesture at funerals. The title mostly makes me think of a funerary offering of flowers in remembrance of someone. 

Alternately, you could guess that the story is a comedy or tragicomedy. Flowers can be a thoughtful gift to cheer someone up. Perhaps the character Algernon has been feeling sad and someone gives him flowers to help him feel better. This is a bit of a stretch, as there are no content clues in the title that Algernon has been feeling sad or requires cheering up.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial