Crying buckets — 大泣き


 I’ve just finished reading Flowers for Algernon written by Daniel Keyes. The book is about Charlie Gordon who is a mentally-challenged man with an unusually low IQ. Charlie wanted to be smart1. And a group of scientists decided to give him an experimental2 surgery3 which they hope will increase his intelligence. It has been successful when tested on a mouse called Algernon.

 The story is told in a form of Charlie’s diary, which is very clever because you can actually see the change in Charlie, as his diary becomes more complex4 and well written. In the early part of the diary, even the simplest words like “write” and “said” are misspelled. But as you continue to read, you start seeing such words as “self-effacing5” and “illiteracy6“, even “naivety7“. Contrarily8, as the treatment takes effect9 and Charlie’s intelligence expands10, he becomes more and more cynical11. As Professor Nemur puts it12, his genius13 has destroyed his faith in14 the world and in his friends.

 The experiment seems successful, until Algernon suddenly deteriorates15. Will the same happen to Charlie? Well, you’ll find it yourself. But be prepared16. It’s not a “they-lived-happily-ever-after” type of a story and well-known for making people cry. When I read the famous last sentence, I cried buckets. So, if you go for it17, get your Kleenex ready18.




The story made me cry buckets.



  1. smart:賢い
  2. experimental:実験的な
  3. surgery:外科手術
  4. complex:複雑な
  5. self-effacing:控えめな
  6. illiteracy:無教育
  7. naivety:素朴(=naiveté)
  8. contrarily:これに反して
  9. take effect:(薬などが)効く
  10. expands:拡張する、発展する
  11. cynical:皮肉な
  12. put it:言う
  13. genius:特殊な才能
  14. faith in~:~への信頼
  15. deteriorate:悪化させる
  16. prepared:心構えをする
  17. go for it:試してみる
  18. get ~ ready:~を用意する



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