Enlightenment That Brought Despair Essay

938 words - 4 pages

In the short story “Flowers for Algernon”, written by Daniel Keyes, the main character, Charlie Gordon went through an experience that he would never forgot in his life. Mentally disabled, he kept an IQ of 68 at the age of 38, and could not get along with others in society. Because of this, he decided to take an experiment that would increase his brain knowledge and through this experiment, he experienced a world where he could see everything at an IQ higher than 200, with a friend, a mouse named Algernon, who became a subject in the experiment already. The knowledge, however, failed to remain in his brain, like Algernon, decreasing his mental ability to what he originally had. This caused ...view middle of the document...

..[did] more than a lot of people with brains they never even used” (229). Since Charlie was dull and he knew he was not intelligent than other around him himself, he became determined and motivated to learn and achieve his goals of becoming smart. It is proven that most people do not use the whole brain and only a fraction of it and if one actually did use the whole brain, then they would be more than a genius or prodigy. While other people did not use most of their brains, Charlie does use more, from his determination, experiencing much more than he could than others if they kept an IQ of 68. All in all, his actions show how childish but jolly he lived but after the surgery, he changed into someone different.
After the operation, Charlie becomes a genius, but he was challenged with loneliness and turns pessimistic. While going through the ‘enlightenment’ with his two partner doctors, Charlie “was shocked to learn that the only ancient languages he [Dr. Nemur] could read were Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and that he knows almost nothing of mathematics beyond the elementary levels of the calculus of variations” (236). According to the quote, the subjects that Dr. Nemur knew would be counted as really impressive and something that most people might not know. Contrary to other people that would be amazed, Charlie, on the other hand, was amazed at how little he knew and by his shock, it meant that he knew way much more than Dr. Nemur. Also, the words he used are high quality words and he did not misspell any of them. However, Charlie notices that “No matter what [he tries] to discuss with her [Miss Kinnian], [Charlie was] unable to communicate…[he...

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