LITERATURE AND SOCIAL ISSUESPaper Rating: Word Count: 2011 Approx Pages: 8
To what extent can literature be effective in portraying social issues? Using a set text, analyse the methods authors use to discuss social issues
Flowers for Algernon is a genuine example of how literature could be used effectively to convey social issues. A significant range of social aspects, like discussions of emotions of people in society with a mental disability, the ways their difference is perceived by others and risks involved in applying scientific technology were shown by Daniel Keyes. A number of techniques like the characterisations, point of view, use of language, imagery and tone accomplished the effectiveness of social issues portrayed in Flowers for Algernon.
Characterisations were effective in bringing out the theme of emotions of people with a disability in Flowers for Algernon. The main character, Charlie Gordon, was at first, a thirty-seven year old man with an IQ of sixty-eight. He was innocent, slow, yet motivated to become intelligent, "please let me try agen, I'm not so fast sometimes (Mar 6-p132). By comparing the intelligence of a disabled person of character traits mentioned above and Algernon, a mouse who was Charlie's initial competitor, Daniel Keyes effectively created an image of the aptitude of people with an incapacity and helped readers to comprehend the intellectual limitations they have, and this efficiently brought out the issue of emotions of people in society with a disability. Keyes' descriptions of Charlie's continual changes throughout the story, as far as individuality, intelligence and perceptions were concerned, arose deep feelings of empathy. Charlie's naÃ¯vetÃ©, his adaptations to his knowledge and, his despair when he lost the knowledge he wanted to possess all his life- "I'm going someplace where nobody knows that Charlie was once a genus and now he cant even reed a book or rite good (Jul 28-p153), not only allowed readers to understand Charlie's satisfaction of