Did you ever want to be smarter than your friends or even just a little bit smarter? Well, so did Charlie Gordon. Being a mental 37 year-old man, life is hard and you can’t be always happy, but after a major surgery he is a little better off.
Imagine the possibility of a surgery that could dramatically increase your intelligence. Imagine what a change of life that could mean if you were a mentally handicapped person. This is exactly what happens in the story, Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes. Charlie Gordon is a mentally handicapped man living alone in New York City. He undergoes an operation that increases his intelligence he realizes how poorly people have treated him including his family and friends. Although most folk mistreated Charlie there was one who was kind and caring towards Charlie and that was his teacher, Alice Kinnian. This story follows the rise and gradual fall of his intelligence and with that the awareness of how poorly people have treated
In this novel, Flowers for Algernon, written by Daniel Keyes, a man named Charlie Gordon has an operation done to increase his intelligence. He started as a mentally retarded man and slowly became a genius. He seemed to soak up information like a sponge and he was able to figure out the most complex scientific formulas. The only problem with the operation is that it does not last for ever and in his remaining time he tries to figure out why it is not permanent. He will eventually lose everything he learned and become worse off than when he started, so Charlie was better off before he had the operation.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” - Harriet Tubman. Charlie Gordon is a very welcoming, playful, and genuine man. He attends Beekman College for Retarded Adults and has a strong motivation to learn and to improve his intelligence. He dreams of being popular, and making friends. Throughout the novel Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon changed in many ways. Prior to his life changing operation, he was not able to grasp that the people at Donner’s Bakery were not his friends, they only spoke to him to make fun of him. Charlie acknowledged their harsh actions, and started retaliating. Charlie is a very open
As Charlie's intelligence increases he thinks that he will be more liked the higher his intelligence climbs, but later Charlie discovers that whether you are of lower intelligence then most of the population or of higher intelligence you still will not quite fit in. "I've discovered that no one really cares for Charlie Gordon whether he is a moron or a genius. (Keyes 172) Charlie's relationship with Alice also shows how whether he is of extreme low extreme high intellect he still cannot communicate with her the way he needs to. " I'm just as far away from Alice with an I.Q of 185 then when I had an IQ of 70" (Keyes 88). In today's society if a persons thoughts slightly differ from those of the majority of the population then they will be scrutinized and shunned from the others. People are not willing to look at an idea through a different perspective and this is shown in Flowers For Algernon, when Charlie discovers the fault in Dr. Nemur's experiment and confronts him about it, Dr. Nemur treats him like the old Charlie who is to mentally challenged to be correct. It is repeated numerous times during the novel that Charlie was "created" by the experiment and was not a "human being" because of his below 100 IQ before the operation. "I'm a human being, a person- with parents and memories and a history- and I was before you ever wheeled me into that operating room." (Keyes 112). Society needs to learn that even those who are different then most of us still are humans and
It is possible to live without intelligence. Intelligence is important but if you don't have it, then it is fine. You can try to become intelligent by being yourself, but there is no need for getting surgery to get smarter. Charlie shouldn’t have gotten the surgery. He was living happily. He wasn't sad about anything, so he wouldn't need to go through any stress.
Conflicts are often faced by characters in novels and movies. A conflict is a struggle between two opposing forces, usually a protagonist and an antagonist. Charlie Gordon is a mentally disabled man from Flowers for Algernon who has a surgery to become smarter. Sam Dawson is a mentally disabled man from I am Sam, who is fighting for custody of his daughter. Charlie had it worse than Sam because he struggled with many emotions and he had various losses throughout the story.
After Charlie goes through the surgery to improve his intelligence, he begins to see the world as it truly is. Charlie is not very intelligent. He is aware of his mental deficit and wants to become smart. When asked about the reason he wants the surgery, Charlie states, “I told them becaus all my life I wantid to be smart and not dumb (Keyes 286). Charlie, “Cant wait to be smart like my best frends Joe Carp and Frank Reilly (Keyes 290).” Therefore, he was not satisfied with his life before the surgery. Furthermore, Charlie’s mental deficit makes him not very smart about his relationships with his coworkers. He is unaware that his coworkers make fun of him. At first, Charlie believes, “Their really my friends and they like me” (Keyes 289). Others, however, realize that the coworkers aren’t treating Charlie well. Referring to his kind teacher, Charlie says, “I said all my frends are smart people but there good. They like me and they never did anything that wasnt nice. Then she got something in her eye and she had to run out to the ladys room” (Keyes 291). After the surgery, Charlie comes to understand people more and to understand what is a true friend. Charlie later learns, “Now I know what it means when they say ‘to pull a Charlie Gordon.’ I'm ashamed” (Keyes 293). Charlie also sees his doctors in a new light when he says, “It was as if I'd
As stated above, this humiliation that he has been experiencing has caused him to lose his confidence in himself. This is proved when Charlie writes about his conversation with Miss Kinnian. He writes: “I tried to make a conversation with Miss Kinnian but no matter how much I tried to talk at the same level as her I always brought up psychology in the process. I am having great difficulty in making friends.” This quote proves that after the surgery that Charlie took to triple his intelligence made him find it difficult to make friends after he became aware of this humiliation that he has been experiencing. It
Could you imagine what it would be like to become what you’ve always wanted to be? Or to have your I.Q be tripled? In the Science Fiction story, “Flowers for Algernon” written by Daniel Keyes, a 37 year old man named Charlie Gordon, whose mind is impaired, undergoes a surgery to triple his I.Q. After the surgery, Charlie Gordon’s life became much better for him. Charlie was able to make true friends, along with that he felt emotions, but most importantly, he was able to see the world through a different a different perspective.
Through the memories the Charlie Gordon has had since his surgery, he has revealed many new and exciting feelings in himself that he has never felt before. When he got upset at one of the doctors during his second inkblot test, he described his anger as exciting. Another emotion that we also noticed in Charlie is love and compassion. On page 82, he goes on a date with his teacher, Alice and he soon realizes that he has feelings for her but can’t seem to build up the courage to kiss her. When he finds out that Alice doesn’t have the same compassion for him, he starts to hate her. Since feelings are all very new to Charlie, he does not know how to react to them. One of the important memories that Charlie had was when he was listening to his parents argue. Charlie was sitting on the floor playing with one of his toys while his parents were fighting about Charlie’s
Initially, Charlie was not aware of what was going on around him. He thought that everyone liked him and was his friend. He also was not very intelligent, which is why he was oblivious to what was happening around him. After Charlie had the surgery he was able to now notice that the people he worked with at the factory were not actually his friends. He found out April 20, “I never knew that Joe and Frank and the others liked to have me around all the time to make fun of me” (33-34). Now that he got the procedure he can now tell that his so-called friends, just liked him because they could make fun of him. Another example of him noticing things for the first time is when the doctors were arguing Charlie felt that he know saw them for the first time. He realizes about their personal life, how one has a wife that wants him to be successful and the other wants some of the glory to. Once again, due to his intelligence, he notices more about the people he interacts with almost every day. He noticed things that he has never realized, let alone thought about.
During their quarrel, Alice states that Charlie “...had a smile...a warm real smile, because [he] wanted people to like [him].” (Keyes 299). As Alice says, Charlie used to be a very happy person, but as time progressed, with his intelligence increase and his deterioration following, he became less jovial and outgoing. In response to Alice, Charlie claims, “Maybe that’s why it was so important for me to learn. I thought it would make people like me. I thought I would have friends. That’s something to laugh at, isn’t it?” (Keyes 299-300). This declaration further proves Charlie’s cynicality. He is expressing pessimistic behavior by affirming that it was humorous for him to gain intelligence so he could obtain friends. In reality, however, his friend-count downsized. Based on this altercation, the audience can derive that Alice deems the operation ruined Charlie’s personality, and that she valued his warm, loving personality over his artificial
Have you ever thought about being smart? Well, Charlie Gordon did. Charlie Gordon is a 37 year old male with an I.Q. that is not very high. In the Science FIction story “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel keyes. Charlie Gordon wasn’t very smart, he has a low I.Q. of 68. Charlie wanted to be smart so he would be liked by people. Charlie had the opportunity to have the A.I. surgery to triple his I.Q. Charlie Gordon should have had the A.I. surgery.