Flowers for Algernon is the diary of a retarded boy called Charlie Gordon. Charlie wants to read and write like all the other people he knows, so he agrees toparticipate in an experiment. Charlie has to take creative tests to determine if he isintelligent or really retarded. Charlie does not do well on the tests, so he is chosen astheir first human subject for the experiment.
The doctors have already done experimentson a mouse called Algernon. He is much smarter than other mice because he has had anoperation. Charlie agrees to have the operation and his intelligence almost triples. Charlie and Algernon develop a special friendship because they spend a lot of time doingtests together. Problems start because although Charlie’s intelligence has increased, hisemotional level has not. He has a hard time socializing with girls, and knowing what todo in gatherings of people, because of this Charlie tends to make a fool of himself at aparty when he drinks.Order now
Over a period of time he starts to remember things about hischildhood. He visits his parents but his father does not know him, although his motherand sister do and are happy to see him. He loses his job because the other works feelthreatened by Charlie’s new powers. He realizes the friend he thought he had just usedhim and made fun of him. Towards the end of the books, Charlie is angry and tired of being put on displayby the doctors.
He is tired of being treated as an experiment instead of a person withfeelings. At one of the conventions where Charlie and Algernon are on display, Charlietakes Algernon and runs away. Charlie knows that the consequence of his actions willmean that over a period of time he will lose his intelligence and would go back to beingretarded. Algernon lose the effects of the operation and dies. Charlie realizes that whathas happened to Algernon will happen to him, and he considers suicide while he is still incontrol of his emotions.
Day by day Charlie began to regress, he became angry at peoplevery quickly. His new personality was a symptom of his regression, and people stayedaway from him. Charlie became lonely in the last few weeks before he regressed fully, hestarts to lose his memory, and reading and spelling become difficult again. Charlie had always been alone, no one had ever really understood him, or takenthe time to try, except of course his night school teacher Miss Kinnian. He was neveraccepted, as either a stupid or smart person. He never seemed to fit in to society.
Thedoctors that conducted the experiments never really cared for Charlie, they used him fortheir own glory. His friends used him as a scapegoat, and as entertainment. The only twopeople in the story that cared for Charlie were Miss Kinnian and Algernon. The bookleaves one wondering who were the stupid people. Charlie in his retarded state, warmand caring, or the people around him, that used him, made fun of him, and were afraid ofhim.
The last sentence in the book where he asks someone to put flowers on Algernon’sgrave, shows that even in his present state, Charlie cared about Algernon. One has tothink whether Charlie would have been better off without the experiment. He would havehad his job, his friends, but most important of all a life. Who were the real losers in thebook, Charlie who knew a normal life and lost it, or the people who never took the timeto get to know Charlie?Words/ Pages : 603 / 24