The Measure of a Man
Daniel Keyes' classic tale Flowers for Algernon is enjoyed throughout the world. It first appeared1 as a magazine story in 1959 and was later made into a novel and a movie. Although the story is generally considered science fiction, readers have always loved it for its basic human truths.
It is the story of Charlie, a thirty-two-year-old man whose IQ is only 68. He works during the day in a bakery and attends a reading class for slow learners at night. At work, Charlie's foolish behavior amuses his coworkers. Charlie, however, assumes2 they are laughing with him, not at him. He considers them his friends and tries hard to fit in.3
Meanwhile, through an experimental4 operation, scientists greatly increase the intelligence of a mouse named Algernon. They decide to try the same experiment on a human. They choose Charlie because he is so eager to learn and become "smart" like other people. The operation is successful and Charlie becomes steadily5 more intelligent.6
丹尼尔· 凯斯的经典之作《献给阿尔吉农的花束》广受全球读者喜爱。此作品最早于 1959 年刊载于杂志上，后集结成小说并拍成电影。虽然这个作品普遍被视为科幻小说，却因书中所刻画的基本人性真相而深受读者喜爱。
1. appear v. to be seen publically for the first time 发表；上市
The author's new novel won't appear in bookstores until August.
● 2. assume v. to consider sth. to be true even though there is no proof 假定；以为
Karen was so friendly that Jack assumed she wanted to go on a date with him.
3. fit in v. phr. to be accepted by others, esp. because of being similar 融入（环境／人群）
Yao Ming had difficulty fitting in as a boy because he was so much taller than other kids.
4. experimental adj. using new and unproven methods or ideas 实验性质的；试验性的
Experimental drugs are now available for treating some types of cancer.
● 5. steadily adv. slowly and gradually 平稳持续地；稳步地
We hiked steadily for most of the day until we finally reached the top of the mountain.
● 6. intelligent adj. able to think and learn quickly 聪明的；理解力强的
Amazingly, the boy was so intelligent that he graduated from college when he was only ten years old.
◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ 仅供参考，不须强记
1. science fiction n. 科幻小说
2. IQ n. 智商 （即 Intelligence Quotient 智力商数的缩写）
3. bakery n. 面包店