June 27, 2015

Soundtrack Saturday | Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Hey everyone! Cassia here! I know y'all haven't heard from me for a while, and I apologize. My life's been crazy the past couple months, but I'm back, and I'm starting up Soundtrack Saturdays again, like Tessa promised (quite a while ago, actually). So, here's my first post since "coming back" to the blog: a playlist for Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (review to come).

This is a meme hosted by Erin @ The Hardcover Lover. In this meme, I make a soundtrack of about 15 or 20 songs for a book I recently read, provide brief descriptions of the songs and what I feel they represent, and I'll have a link to the Spotify playlist.

"Simple Man (Rock Version)" by Shinedown (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
This one is for Charlie. In the beginning, before the operation, Charlie constantly says that the most important thing (and the only thing he can do, really) is to be a good person, and always do the right thing. That's exactly what this song is saying: "be a simple man..." I picked this version because I absolutely love Brent Smith's voice, you can hear and feel the emotion in his voice, and the whole band being in it gives it an even more emotional flair.

"Stay Awake (Dreams Only Last for a Night)" by All Time Low
After the operation, Charlie begins to be bombarded with memories and visions of his past, especially in his dreams. Many of them are nightmares, and when he's awake, he reminds himself to stay awake, and that the past is in the past, not the present. This song is filled with energy and the desire to keep one's sanity.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
Throughout the book, especially right after the operation, Charlie is caught up in his past, unsure what it all means, and how to deal with it. Most of it is caused by his mother's rejection of him because of his intelligence. In the same way, this song expresses that madness with its sporadic mood and style changes, and it even mentions the speaker's mother.

"For My Sake" by Shinedown
Charlie and Alice have an...interesting relationship. Charlie is constantly hurting Alice, whether he tries to or not, and Alice just can't take it. This song is for Alice, telling Charlie that she has to leave, for her own sake.

"I'm Not an Angel" by Halestorm
In contrast to the song above, this song is Charlie telling Alice that he's not perfect; he's far from it. He's going to hurt her, and he knows it, and can't stop it. This song is emotion-charged, yearning, and slightly sorrowful, like Charlie's attitude toward Alice.

"Remembering Sunday" by All Time Low
I think this is on another one of my Soundtrack Saturdays. I love this song, okay? ;) In this song, Charlie is the speaker, with Alice being the girl he's totally in love with. In the song, the girl is kind of teasing the boy, which is what Alice does in their relationship, though she doesn't mean to. She wants him, too, but knows it's dangerous. And Charlie is hurt and filled with longing, which is effectively expressed in this song.

"I Feel Like Dancin'" by All Time Low
This song is for Fay, the girl who lives across the hall from Charlie. She's fun, loves to dance, and believes in a good time as long as nobody gets hurt. This song embodies her character: a boisterous girl who isn't afraid of anything and is just looking for a good time all the time. (I also personally love the song. ;))

"My Name (Wearing Me Out)" by Shinedown*
Like I said before, Charlie is constantly battling with his past. When he starts to go insane, this conflict becomes "little Charlie," and Charlie literally sees (or hallucinates, more accurately) his young self. And he's tired of it. He's being haunted by himself and his past, and it's wrecking him, wearing him out. And he's ready to take his name back. (P.S. Sorry for the language. It's only one word, but it's in the majority of the chorus, and they repeat the chorus a lot.)

"The Point of No Return" from The Phantom of the Opera
At this point in Phantom, the Phantom and Christine are battling it out while performing the Phantom's opera. It's a struggle between the two, one filled with passion and longing. It's also a song of seduction. Near the end, Charlie knows what is going to happen to him, and he wants Alice with his whole being, but it's dangerous for both of them, and they both know that what Charlie has predicted is inevitable. This song represents the intense struggle and tension between Charlie and Alice at the end of the book. To get the idea of what I'm talking about, here's a link to this song at the 25th anniversary performance of Phantom on YouTube. (The song on the Spotify playlist is the original London cast.)

"I'm Alive" from Next to Normal
Next to Normal is a musical about a family that struggles with mental health issues. Since Charlie has a lot of those, I thought a song from this musical would fit right in. I don't know the plot of the musical very well at all, so I can't tell you what's happening here, but it doesn't really matter. Now, this is where Charlie really starts to go insane. When describing his actions and research, he says that everything is "bright" and "shining", or "blinding". Yeah, it's weird. Anyway, he also says that he's alive like never before. To me, this song is Charlie's mood near the end of the book: alive, insane, and energized (yes, those are moods, to me at least ;)).


Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes on Spotify

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