Flowers for Algernon(Book)

Topics: Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes, Mental retardation Pages: 2 (600 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Flowers for Algernon.

In the short story "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes, the main character Charlie Gordon has an IQ of 68 and desires to become intelligent. He is chosen to undergo an operation to increase his intelligence level to 204, however he is unaware of the consequences that may follow. His experiment is not worth the risk because he realizes that humans can be cruel, the experiment is not permanent, and he loses his friends and job. One of the reasons Charlie's experience is not worth the risk is he realizes that humans can be cruel. This is seen throughout the story for example in the way Charlie Gordon's so-called friends treat him. After the operation, on of Charlie's friends Joe Carp teases him about the operation saying "hey look where Charlie had his operation what did they do Charlie, put some brains in." Another time Charlie realizes humans can be cruel is when Charlie is in a restaurant and the bus boy who is mentally challenged drops the dishes on the floor, the people start laughing at him and make fun of him. This makes Charlie upset and he begins to yell at the customers in the restaurant saying "Shut up. Leave him alone. It's not his fault he can't understand. He can't help what he is. But he's still a human being." Charlie also does not realizethat his friends are laughing at him and not with him until his IQ beginsto increase, and he figures out what Joe Carp and Frank Riley mean by "he pulled a Charlie Gordon." Another reason the operation is not worth the risk is because the operation is not permanent. Before the operation, Charlie has an IQ of 68 he can write but his spelling is not very good. Charlie's IQ increases to 204 after having the operation. Algernon a mouse that undergoes the same operation, starts to change. Charlie writes in one of his progress reports about how Algernon begins to change " Burt, who is in charge of the experimental animals, tells me that Algernon is changing....
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