Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
Throughout the book "Flowers for Algernon" Charlie, a retarded person goes through a whole process in which he becomes a genius and then regresses, which results in him being retarded again. In this work I will try to show that the process Charlie goes through (becoming a genius and the regression back to being retarded), is much like the human life, and compare his development to that of a child, and his regression to that of an old man. Before the operation, Charlie was retarded person with a very low IQ. This was clear from his childlike behavior. Even though his mother abandoned him when he was still a child, he wanted to be smart to please her, and make to her proud of him, for reasons explained below. An example of this is this when Professor Nemur and Dr. Strauss tell Charlie why he has been chosen to be part of the research. They tell him that he has been picked because of his desire to be smart. Not only does Charlie wants to be smart, but he also wants to please everyone around him. He wants them to be happy and to like him. One of the clearest things about little children other than their innocence is their desire to please adults. Furthermore, children's main motivation in school is to please their parents and teachers and to make their parents happy. Another common thing among many children is their curiosity. They want to know more. Charlie literally acts like a "big child". He really wants to be a smart person. As we learn later on in the book, he wants to go through the process of the operation to make his mother happy, to get her approval and to make her proud of him. As we can see, before the operation Charlie acts like a child stuck in an adult's body. He wants to become smart – and to learn. He has the simple curiosity of a young child. He wants to do it to please his mother – much like a child whose main motivation in school is to please his parents. The reason why Professor Nemur and Dr. Strauss have...
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