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Flowers For Algernon Essay

940 words - 4 pages

ENGL 110September 15th 2014An Innocent's adventure towards EnlightenmentIn this challenging world, everyone dreams to be smart and known by everyone but not all gets that opportunity. In the "Flowers of Algernon", written by Daniel Keyes, the protagonist Charlie gets that lifetime opportunity to boost his intelligence level. Charlie, a feeble-minded thirty-seven years old man puts himself into brain surgery to get smart. Charlie has a disease called phenylketonuria, a rare disease that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in the body. Furthermore, this makes Charlie unable to read or write or understand anything about people and their views. The experiment to increase Charlie's intelligence has some negative effects, however, Charlie's intelligence grows to the level of genius and does great things to the science and mankind."Flowers of Algernon" is composed of progress reports written by Charlie himself, about his thoughts and life seen through his eyes. As clearly seen in the beginning of the story, Charlie has hard time to spell simple words and write structural sentences. Alice Kinnian, Charlie's teacher at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults, recommends Charlie for the experiment because of his exceptional eagerness to learn. Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur, the doctors involved in the experiment to install artificial intelligence in peoples through brain surgery, urge Charlie to write progress report to see improvement in his brain. This experiment, funded by the Welberg Foundation, has already been successful on a white lab mouse named Algernon, so the researchers were ready for a human participant. Charlie was asked to race with Algernon to see his improvement. He was initially disappointed that there is no change in his intellect, but with the help from Alice, he gradually improves his spelling and grammar. When he returns to his job at Donner's Bakery, his coworkers suspects him that he has changed. He spends his time learning new things and slowly becomes genius. His intelligence has surpassed that of both Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur, and he realizes there is a flaw in their research. Algernon is a symbolic mouse that represents Charlie's future. Therefore, the death of Algernon was a hint for Charlie that his intelligence will soon disappear. Even when his intelligence regressed, Charlie doesn't lose his hopes. Even in his mental deterioration, Charlie figures out the mistake in his operation and calls it the "Algernon-Gordon Effect." When Charlie's regression is complete, he returns to his job at bakery, where his coworkers welcome him with kindness. Just like before, Charlie works hard to achieve only little accomplishments and never gives up.After the operation, Charlie gets to know that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Charlie...

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