Flowers for Algernon

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Richard Jin
December 13, 2011
Period 7
Persuasive Essay
How to be a hero 101
There are many heroes in the world --- people who sacrifice themselves to a certain degree to help save other people in need. Heroes can be found anywhere, having different backgrounds. Sometimes they may be forced to become one because of the situation they are in. Other times, they may be offered a choice of living an easy simple life or leading a life full of hardships for the common good of the people around them. Although many people do it for personal gain like fame and glory, others do it to simply to help the needy people. In the short story “Flowers for Algernon”, Daniel Keyes wrote about a 37 year old man, Charlie Gordon, who is a mentally disabled. He got approved to have a surgery, to triple his IQ and enhance his knowledge. He put his life on the line to help other people. Two reasons he is a hero are that he helped people in need and sacrificed his body for science. One reason why Charlie is a hero is because he helped the people around him who were being discriminated against. An example of this is when he stood up for a sixteen-year-old diner boy when he was getting laughed at. He described the whole incident in his progress report: “I felt sick inside as I looked at his dull vacuous smile, the wide, bright eyes of a child, uncertain but easy to pleases. They were laughing at him because he was mentally retarded. And I had been laughing at him too. Suddenly, I was furious at myself and all those who were smirking at him. I jumped up and shouted, ‘Shut up! Leave him alone. It’s not his fault he can’t understand! He can’t help what he is! But for God’s sake… he’s still a human being!’”(530) Although Charlie was initially laughing with the crowd at the boy, he realized his mistake and changed his attitude. He felt sick at the treatment the crowd had directed towards the diner boy and criticized the crowd. This shows that Charlie cares about and will stand up for...
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