Flowers for Algernon

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An Analysis of Charlie Gordon’s Progression Throughout Flowers for Algernon Throughout Flowers for Algernon, Charlie experiences things in great consideration under the influence of others. Above all, it changes for the way he views his friends, the way he views women, and the way he views himself. Charlie’s sense of impulsiveness and ignorance changes completely about his co-workers, Alice, and Charlie himself and let him in on strong feelings of betrayal, guilt, and loneliness. Charlie’s truth about friendship is dynamic all throughout the novel. In the beginning, Charlie believes his co-workers are his pals and they won’t let anything bad happen to him. For instance, the guys get him drunk on purpose, during a party. Meanwhile, when he is trying to get up off the floor, they continuously trip and push him down. As a result, Charlie’s memories, as he was getting more and more intelligent, revealed that these co-workers aren’t any friends of his. His truth’s about women is also changed as his IQ increases. When Charlie was mentally challenged, he believes Miss Kinnian is his teacher and nothing else. But, as the operation develops, he starts to see women sexually. For example, Charlie believes “... [he] noticed how beautiful Alice Kinnian is... She has pigeon-soft brown eyes and feathery brown hair down to the hollow of her neck” (Keyes 76). But eventually Charlie’s views change once again. He goes from feelings of “restrained” friendship to a sense of loving affection to plain accountability. Daramola 2

Charlie’s truth about himself is also alternating as the novel progresses. Before he became smart, Charlie believed his life was marvelous and there was nothing in the world that was harmful or wrong. Nonetheless, as Charlie evolves into a genius, his true self is evident and he sees what he’s become. For example, when Charlie went to go see his Dad, he thought to himself, “[He] wasn’t his son. That was another Charlie. Intelligence and knowledge had changed...
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