Quotes from Flowers for Algernon

Daniel Keyes ·  311 pages

Rating: (368.4K votes)


“I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Thank God for books and music and things I can think about.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Now I understand that one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you've believed in all your life aren't true, and that nothing is what it appears to be.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Its easy to make frends if you let pepul laff at you.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“That's the thing about human life--there is no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon



“How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibilty, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes—how such people think nothing of abusing a man with low intelligence.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love. This is something else I've discovered for myself very recently. I present it to you as a hypothesis: Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis. And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“...Don't feel sorry for me. I'm glad I had a second chance in life like you said to be smart because I learned a lot of things that I never knew were in this world, and I'm grateful I saw it even for a little bit.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“A child may not know how to feed itself, or what to eat, yet it knows hunger.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“There are so many doors to open. I am impatient to begin."

--Charlie Gordan”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon



“Why am I always looking at life through a window?”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“There are a lot of people who will give money or materials, but very few who will give time and affection.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Strange about learning; the farther I go the more I see that I never knew even existed. A short while ago I foolishly thought I could learn everything - all the knowledge in the world. Now I hope only to be able to know of its existence, and to understand one grain of it. Is there time?”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Who's to say that my light is better than your darkness? Who's to say death is better than your darkness? Who am I to say?”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Just leave me alone. I'm not myself. I'm falling apart, and I don't want you here.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon



“I'm living at a peak of clarity and beauty I never knew existed. Every part of me is attuned to the work. I soak it up into my pores during the day, and at night—in the moments before I pass off into sleep—ideas explode into my head like fireworks. There is no greater joy than the burst of solution to a problem. Incredible that anything could happen to take away this bubbling energy, the zest that fills everything I do. It's as if all the knowledge I've soaked in during the past months has coalesced and lifted me to a peak of light and understanding. This is beauty, love, and truth all rolled into one. This is joy.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Even in the world of make-believe there have to be rules. The parts have to be consistent and belong together.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“No one really starts anything new, Mrs. Nemur. Everyone builds on other men's failures. There is nothing really original in science. What each man contributes to the sum of knowledge is what counts.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“But I've learned that intelligence alone doesn't mean a damned thing. Here in your university, intelligence, education, knowledge, have all become great idols. But I know now there's one thing you've all overlooked: intelligent and education that hasn't been tempered by human affection isn't worth a damn...Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love...Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“How can I make him understand that he did not create me?
He makes the same mistake as the others when they look at a feeble-minded person and laugh because they don't understand there are human feelings involved.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon



“P.S. please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Only a short time ago, I learned that people laughed at me. Now I can see that unknowingly I joined them in laughing at myself. That hurts the most.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Even a feeble-minded man wants to be like other men."

--Charlie Gordan”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“I'm not close to him." He looked at me defiantly. "But he's put his whole life into this. He's no Freud or Jung or Pavlov or Watson, but he's doing something important and I respect his dedication - maybe even more because he's just an ordinary man trying to do a great man's work, while the great men are all busy making bombs.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“I’m “exceptional”- a democratic term used to avoid the damning labels of “gifted” and “deprived” (which used to mean “bright” and “retarded”) and as soon as “exceptional” begins to mean anything to anyone they’ll change it. The idea seems to be: use an expression as long as it doesn’t mean anything to anybody. “Exceptional” refers to both ends of the spectrum, so all my life I’ve been exceptional.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon



“And now - Plato's words mock me in the shadows on the ledge behind the flames: '...the men of the cave would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“Although we know the end of the maze holds death (and it is something I have not always known--not long ago the adolescent in me thought death could happen only to other people), I see now that the path I choose through that maze makes me what I am. I am not only a thing, but also a way of being--one of many ways--and knowing the paths I have followed and the ones left to take will help me understand what I am becoming.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


“So this is how a person can come to despise himself-knowing he's doing the wrong thing and not being able to stop.”
― Daniel Keyes, quote from Flowers for Algernon


About the author

Daniel Keyes
Born place: in Brooklyn, New York, The United States
Born date August 9, 1927
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