The book “Flowers For Algernon”, by Daniel Keys was written in 1961. Later, Richard Heynes decided to produce the movie in 1968 properly called “Charly”. There are both similarities and differences between the two. However, the differences play a more crucial role between the two rather then the similarities. One major difference between the movie and book is the events that took place. One example is when Charly met Fay. This never happened in the movie. But in the movie, when he met her he let all of his inner feeling out into the open and had a great time.
In the movie he only went away for awhile and even then he only had what seemed to be a few short flings. With Fay, Charly was able express himself to her. Another event that was changed was the little field trip Charly took to Boston. Charly never went on this trip to Boston in the book. It doesn’t really play an important role in the story but then why did Heynes make such a useless change? Another major difference between the two is the progress reports Charly wrote daily. In the novel his progress reports were how the reader was able to understand the character of Charly even better then ever.
In the movie however, Charly never wrote anything down on paper. Maybe if he had done this in the movie, he wouldn’t have gone so damn crazy near then end of the movie and go out in a calmer way like he did in the book. Instead of being so hostile towards his friends and loved ones, he could have simply expressed himself in words rather then actions. Also, when Charly got his job back at Mr. Donner’s bakery he was never harassed by the new employee. This was when Joe Carp and the other realized that Charly was back to his old self.
Joe Carp roughed up the bully and got him fired for his actions directed at Charly. Another major difference between the book and movie is the traits and actions taken by the characters. One example is Alice Kinnian. In the story, she is depicted as a quiet, non-aggressive person, but in the movie she is very much the opposite in character. For one, she never really made a move towards Charly, however, in the movie, she is the more aggressive between the two. Also, towards the end of the movie, Alice asked Charly to marry her and that never even happened in the novel at all.
Charly is another character who is given different traits and actions in the movie then the book. In the book, he is a kind, warm-hearted man who couldn’t harm a fly. Believe it or not in the movie Charly tried to sexually assault Alice. In the book he never ever would have tried to do such a horrible thing to Alice. Also, he got very upset when he found out that he failed one of the tests given to him at the laboratory. He could have cared less if he failed in the book. Charly’s family is something else that was never mentioned in the movie, and it’s probably the most important difference of them all.
It is the most important because of the fact that when Charly went to visit his family, it brought to him a great deal of happiness to his boring and dull life. If Richard Heynes maybe mentioned his family once he would have taken a different road. Instead of him going on a violent rampage of drinking, drugs and women, he could have been spending some quality time with his family. Overall, the differences in the characters definitely played a more important role in the outcome of the story then the other two listed above. All in the entire movie made the book a lot easier to comprehend if there were any knots in our heads.
Even though a movie is a movie and a book is a book, the book was better in a way because it was much more detailed. After reading the book, it wasn’t easy to sit through the movie. The differences in the characters bothered me as well as the events. But in the end, the characters’ differences played a more important role in the book then the events did. Like Charly; he was the most innocent man in the book, but in the movie he was completely the opposite. Even the book took months to reed it still was a pretty good book. The movie just clarified everything that originally stumped us in the book.