Name ______________________________________________ Date _____
By: Daniel Keyes
A SHORT STORY a piece of prose fiction, usually under 10,000 words with very few
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
1. What does Daniel Keyes really enjoy about writing?
1. What do each of these doctors study:
a. neurosurgeon -
b. psychiatrist -
c. psychologist -
2. Make a prediction…
Write the definitions in simple words for the words below.
1. opportunity –
2. tangible –
3. intellectual –
4. invariably –
5. cower –
6. obscure –
7. impaired –
8. stimulus –
Irony: The difference between the way things seem to be and the way things really are.
1. When Charlie says, “Their going to use me, “he is pleased, but the reader can sense the other
meaning of the phrase, as in “to take advantage of.” How does this use of IRONY make you feel
about what he is about to go through? (Pg. 115)
2. The fact that Charlie doesn’t understand the doctors but the reader does is an example of dramatic
irony. How does Charlie’s ignorance (lack of awareness) make you feel toward him? (Pg. 116)
3. After reading the 2nd paragraph from “progris ript 5-Mar 10”, do you think Charlie will get his
wish? With an IQ of over 200, will he be “like other people”? Might Charlie be as lonely when
he’s smart as he has been up to now? (Pg. 117)
4. There is clearly a difference between Charlie’s perception of his friends and what the reader sees.
What is the dramatic irony? (Pg. 118)
5. Explain what is going on with Miss Kinnian when she warns Charlie and then runs to the ladies’
room. What is the dramatic irony in the way Charlie sees the situation? (Pg. 122)
6. Note the irony in the last paragraph in the first column and first paragraph in the second column
on page 127. Charlie is just as much ostracized as a genius as he was as a learning disabled
person. Why do you think this is so? (Pg. 127)
7. Explain the “situational” irony in Charlie’s words, “Now I’m more alone than ever before…” (Pg.
LITERARY ELEMENTS CONT’D:
Foreshadowing: The planting of clues to prepare readers for events that will happen later.
1. Since Algernon is the first of the animals to stay smart for so long, the implication is that all the
others were smart for only a short period. What does this suggest? (Pg. 121)
2. What is revealed about the two doctors from their conversation? What is their primary focus? (Pg.
3. What is the foreshadowing in the journal entry on May 24 th? (Pg. 133)
4. Does what is happening to Algernon foreshadow anything? If so, what? (Pg. 133)
Characterization: The process of conveying information about characters through their actions, words,
thoughts and by description.
1. Look carefully at Charlie’s criticism of Dr. Nemur and Dr. Strauss. What does his criticism say
about how he has changed? (Pg. 130)
2. The last paragraph on page 131 is a central moment in the plot, in which Charlie has the
opportunity to see himself as others once saw him. It gives him a sense of how far he has come,
but he also feels a profound sense of identity with the boy and anger at the people in the restaurant.
What do you think Charlie feels as he watches the boy respond to the people around him? (Pg.
1. If you could talk to Charlie before he leaves New York City, what would you say? Explain your
answer with details!!!
2. Think of a time when you felt like avoiding people after a failure. What helped you overcome
3. Think of a time when someone you admired let you down. How would you talk about that person
4. What would be worse…losing intelligence or never having it?