Skip to main content

Day 288: What If I Don't Like You?

[Apologies for delays in posting. I picked up some sort of a tummy bug, maybe from all this foreign, weird food in the United States? And then I lost a day in transit. Then I had lots of chatting to do. Now I have to work to pay off the credit card. All conspiring to delay the blog—thanks for being patient!]

Do you have to like the main character of a novel? Can you keep reading a book with a protagonist who is grating and unloveable? Anti-heroes can sometimes be very likeable, even if, or maybe because, they are the bad guy. But the plainly unlikeable character is an interesting, although not easy, literary device. It is an element crucial to the story of Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

[Spoiler alert] Charlie (I love a story about a namesake) has been chosen to participate in a revolutionary experiment whereby an operation will give him hyper-intelligence. The novel is epistolary, made up of progress reports he writes through the duration of the experiment. Charlie suffers from serious mental disability in the beginning and grows more and more intelligent. He also grows more and more arrogant and slowly loses all the 'friends' he had. He becomes, for me, (understandably) unlikeable. The operation and experiment is not perfected and so eventually the effects start to reverse themselves. Algernon is the mouse who precedes Charlie in the experiment, and in its attrition. They have an affinity for each other and Charlie's concern before he loses consciousness and understanding of what he has experienced is that someone with still leave flowers on his grave for Algernon.

List_Addict               Irene

Ultimately this is an exploration of what it means to be human and what it means to be intelligent. It puts question to the importance we lay on intelligence, and in a way, I think, on the kind of book-learned knowledge that raises the social status of a person but not necessarily their community and emotional values. Published in 1966, it seems more relevant now where so much is determined for your future on what you know according to a graduate certificate, rather than who you show yourself to be. We have made an odd circle through what seemed a freedom from status and station, where people could come from nothing to be anything, back to a type of restriction which depends on your ability to buy intelligence. And the irony is you don't actually have to be smart to be intelligent, you just have to be committed and able to study. I'll stop lecturing now.

Flowers for Algernon is a banned and challenged book (what isn't?) for its sexually explicit passages (he talks about, and has, sex) and language. I think all banned books should be read at some stage—it helps to make you an intelligent human being!

The Outfit
Clearing the Closet: It’s time to go B——'s fluffy cardigan (does it count if I am getting rid of other people's clothing?)
Dress: Op-shopped
Cardigan: B——'s, Op-shopped
Leggings: Target
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Alaska'

Photographer de Jour: Moi

Who wore it better?

Getting linky today with:

Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thrifters Anonymous


  1. yes, it counts if it's other peoples clothing, imho! I need to re-read Flowers for Algernon, it left a big impact on me when I was a teen. Love your sheer dress! Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday.

  2. I cannot believe that book is banned too. Seriously. Why don't they just ban the Bible? Gah.

    Sorry to hear you got sick, on US food no less. Probably they just added extra additives that you weren't used to.



Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your feedback and comments. I read them all lovingly and try to respond to as many as I can. At the very least I go over and see where you have come from. Love it!

Popular posts from this blog

Day 279: Entertainment and Wishes

I have brain-freeze from a three hours/three hours/ten hours-during-the-day sleeping pattern over the last three days twenty-four hour periods (that ole chestnut, again) and so even though it is not Sunday, I am getting in early and loosening the clenched up brain cells by cheating on topic ideas with Sunday Social. Their link actually goes up tommorrow so be sure to check back and see what everyone else had to say when Sunday eventually does roll around.

Q: What is currently on your wish list?

A: I need nothing. Nothing. So let's talk about want. I want to be able to find some amazing thrifted pieces on my upcoming (eight sleeps) trip to the States. Luck and fate will have a lot to do with it, but I would be very happy to find some, or all, of the following as well: a chambray shirt, a real bomber jacket (just got one that I had different ideas about when I bought it from SheInside—it's really just a fleece jacket), belts, a vintage leather jacket, more tutus, sumptuous f…

Wear 1: Dropped My Shopping.

Day One of three hundred and sixty-five pictures of Irene (left) and I (right) on the internet. We're using it as a way to develop or realise a fashion style, and as a friendly competition as to who wore it better? Like every journey or quest, this year's project will teach me a little, make me think a bit and lend me some laughs and enjoyment. I hope also to slowly make sure everything in my clothes closet and my shoe closet is utilised: even perhaps the bags and boxes of outrageous, or not, op-shopped (thrifted) items secreted in cupboards and under beds. Other hopes: fewer words (believe it or not), more pictures and time to catch up on unfinished blogs from the last three years!

I had my outfit planned, but as I dressed this morning for work, I, well, chickened out. I lost the cape and replaced it with a black cardigan. I thought my work colleagues would think I looked strange and slightly overdressed. Lesson One: I am not brave in person (posting a silly picture on the in…

Day 348: My Favourite Colour

Who: Melanie at Bag and Beret

What: The Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show

When: A while ago (have I told you trying to buy a house keeps getting in my way!)

Where: At, around and in the vicinity of ACCA

Why: Do you even have to ask?

Who Else: B—— for the photos, Melbourne Bike Share for the props (although I did pay for that, and we spent so long riding around getting moving pictures that they charged me again so I am not really sure why I am telling you about them: this isn't a plug, except that they are quite cool!)

What the ?: Sunshine incarnate in the form of a yellow skirt travels the world searching for women, bold and beautiful, who make it their own for a day, or a week and share their own take on its joyous light with everyone out there who thinks that being an exceptional individual with the daring and bravado to walk your own way, strut your own stuff and be your own you is a good thing! That's my take on it, but you can read the full story on the link to the skir…