Characterization of Charlie Gordon

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Characterization of Charlie Gordon
from the short story: Flowers for Algernon

Charlie Gordon has all his life been mental disabled, but for just as long time wanted to be a geni-ass. One day he is given that opportunity and he agrees to let the doctors operate his brain. Before the operation Charlie is a very friendly man, who only sees the good things in life and trusts everybody. His lack of intelligence makes it impossible for him to see that his best friends are in fact victimizing him. (Report 8, page 117) He can't imagine things. "I tryed hard but I still…" (Report 2, page 112) Another important quality he hasn't got, besides intelligence and imagination, is: Feeling. He is only able to be happy, he can not feel anger and love. One of Charlie's best qualities is his motivation and what seems like his eternal strive for normal intelligence.

After the surgery he slowly becomes more and more intelligent, along with the intelligence his imagination and his ability to have feelings grow. And suddenly he is no longer locked in a perspective where he is only able to see a purple present. Now he has been gifted with a new look on life. He sees present and past and how he has been treated by his ‘friends', this leads him to be suspicious of everybody near him. "I didn't know what to do…" (April 20, page 122) His intelligence reaches new, never known heights and he becomes even more an outsider than he was before, as a retard. And finally he's stupid again.

I like Charlie Gordon, and I liked him best when he was smart. But if he hadn't been a retard before he became a genius, I guess I wouldn't have liked him as much. I think being able to place oneself in another's position and way of thinking is a great quality to have as a human being. And even though he has more temper and more easily gets upset, he continues his positive and trusting way of thinking. I'm sure that I would like the old Charlie Gordon, but it would irk me that he isn't able to see how...
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