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Glimpsing Reality Essay

778 words - 4 pages

A short story written by Daniel Keys, “Flowers for Algernon” is about a thirty-seven years old man named Charlie who suffers from a below average I.Q of sixty eight. Recommended by his teacher, Ms. Kinnian for an experimental surgery, Charlie undergoes a surgery planned by Doctor Nemur and Doctor Strauss. Once the surgery is over, Charlie’s intelligence increases exponentially. However, in the end, he retrogresses, again at a below average I.Q. Prior to becoming smart, Charlie led a simple life, naïve and hardworking; however, afterwards, he understands himself and others.
Before the operation, Charlie is naïve yet hardworking. As he once wrote, “I told them I dint ...view middle of the document...

Wanting to record an incident concerning a boy and several people at restaurant teasing him, Charlie wrote, “It infuriated me to think that not too long ago, I, like his boy, had foolishly played the clown” (pg. 237). As shown through this quote, Charlie recognizes how he feels, others’ reactions, and the boys’ foolishness. His ability to respond to these recognitions exemplifies his understanding. Even when he retrogresses, he knows that “evry body feels sorry at the factory and I [Charlie] dont want that eather so Im going to someplace where nobody knows that Charlie Gordan was once a genus and now he cant even reed a book or rite good” (pg. 245). At this point, his sense of how people feel and his own feelings do not go away. Instead, he makes decisions on these emotions and decides to move away. In his final note to the other characters in the story, Charlie suggests that “its easy to have friends if you let pepul laff at you” (pg. 245). This connects to the teasing the Charlie experienced and saw before he left. Although his sense of who friends are is debatable, he acknowledges that people did not laugh with him but at him. Contrary to his “earlier life”, Charlie is more interpersonally and...

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