Flowers for Algernon


Progress Report 8 to 10

Progress Report 8 Summary

Charlie is frustrated that he is still unable to beat Algernon at the maze-solving puzzle. He is getting headaches from thinking too much and is generally frustrated that he cannot feel his increased intelligence yet. He has lunch with Burt and overhears some college students talking about religion and politics. Burt tells him that soon he will surpass all of them in intelligence. Charlie goes back to work at the bakery, but can’t tell anyone about his operation. Mr. Donner has hired a temporary helper to do some of Charlie’s work, but he assures Charlie that he will always have a job at the bakery. Strauss and Nemur visit Charlie to see why he hasn’t been coming into the lab. They bring him a television-like instrument that he is supposed to play while he sleeps so that he can learn with his subconscious mind. He finally beats Algernon at the maze. Joe and Frank take Charlie out for drinks and then abandon him. A policeman brings Charlie home. Dr. Strauss tells Charlie to write down his dreams and memories, and Charlie’s lost childhood memories begin to surface. Charlie begins reading Robinson Crusoe with Miss Kinnian and he feels sad for Robinson because he’s all alone on the island.

Analysis, Progress Report 8

Keyes builds tension subtly throughout this progress report. Like Charlie, the reader is becoming anxious to see the effects of his surgery. Charlie’s gradual improvements in spelling and punctuation demonstrate that something is changing, but the simplicity of his writing remains much the same. Although Charlie is not aware of it, the reader notices that Charlie’s feelings are becoming more intense. Whereas in the early reports his attitude is consistently amiable and optimistic, now Charlie begins to express anger and frustration. He even says that he “hates” being beaten by Algernon, and that the tests and progress reports are “stoopid.”

When Charlie goes back to work at the bakery, we get...

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Essays About Flowers for Algernon