What are the similarities between Romeo and Juliet, Flowers for Algernon, and The Chrysalids?

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In all three works, authority figures exercise power in ways that is destructive to the protagonists. In Romeo and Juliet, the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets, which has gone on for so long that no one seems to know why they are fighting, destroys Romeo and Juliet, who love each other despite being from rival families. In Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon becomes no more than a laboratory animal to Dr. Nemur and Dr. Strauss, who want to test a surgical technique that they believe will dramatically improve intelligence. Charlie gets involved without understanding the implications or the risks, and while his intelligence does increase remarkably, in the end, the experiment fails. This leaves Charlie to suffer the fate of knowing he will return to a mentally handicapped state. He is the victim of the scientists putting ambition ahead of compassion and prudence. In The Chrysalids, the fundamentalist leaders' insistence on destroying or exiling anyone who is not completely "normal" by their standards puts the protagonists at risk. Sophie, for example, has to hide her six toes on one foot, and David and the others with telepathy have to hide that abnormality or risk destruction.

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At first glance, it seems like a stretch that these three stories could share similarities. When presented with this type of question, my recommendation is to examine themes, because that is likely the place where seemingly different stories tend to overlap. For these three stories, I would focus on comparing each story's emphasis on family. That doesn't mean each story portrays family in the quintessential Brady Bunch kind of way. It's quite the contrary—all three stories have families that are quite antagonistic or dysfunctional toward the children. Lord Capulet is not exactly the picture of a doting father when he orders Juliet's marriage to Paris. He cares about his family's image, and he demands obedience from Juliet. That's the same setup as David Strorm and his father. David is mercilessly beaten at one point because he refuses to divulge information about Sophie and her family. Rose and Charlie also have a completely dysfunctional relationship, and readers are very aware that Charlie's family is simply not capable of giving him the love and support that he needs.

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