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Is Charlie's Operation A Success? Essay

1554 words - 6 pages

Is Charlie's Operation a Success?

Many medical operations are performed everyday, and sometimes they can change a person’s life forever. They can alter the way a person thinks or their personality traits.
Picture someone who is so determined to become smart, that they risk their own life for it. It could be just for a moment, their whole life, or it could not even work. In the book, Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon did just this. He was a 32-year-old mentally challenged man, who worked at Donner’s Bakery as a janitor. Charlie risked his life in order to have an experimental operation, which could potentially make him smart forever and raise his IQ to above average or to the level of a genius. The operation that Charlie underwent had many consequences, and he had to pay a sad price for trying to get smarter. Charlie’s operation was unsuccessful because he experienced painful flashbacks concerning his childhood, it caused a dramatic change to his personality in comparison to what he was prior to his operation, and he also suffered from loneliness.

Firstly, Charlie’s operation made him have many upsetting nightmares, like remembering painful memories of his childhood. As a child, children took advantage of Charlie, because he was mentally challenged. Even his mother and sister made fun of him, and were ashamed to be related to him. One particularly painful memory happened on Valentine’s Day. All the boys, including Charlie, had feelings for a girl named Harriet. Charlie wanted to give Harriet a card, so he asked one of his schoolmates, Hymie, to write, “Dear Harriet, I think you are the most prettiest girl in the whole world. I like you very much and I love you. I want you to be my valentime. Your friend, Charlie Gordon.” Hymie took advantage of the situation and wrote something dirty to make Harriet think that Charlie was a perverted person. Charlie did not realize what Hymie had done, and he gave the card to Harriet. She got mad at him, and her two older brothers, Gus and Oscar, beat up Charlie and knocked his teeth out. This incident caused Charlie to move to a new school. (Keyes 37-38). Charlie was an innocent boy, and his fellow schoolmates took advantage of him. They caused him to move schools for no fault of his own. Similar to that situation, was a flashback Charlie had of his mother and sister who treated him like trash. Charlie’s mother, Rose, always wanted him to be normal, because she was ashamed she gave birth to a moron, and as a result, he was treated very badly. His sister, Norma, was no different because she just followed what her mother did. When Norma came to know that she would not get a dog for getting a good mark on her history test because of Charlie, she had a tantrum. She said, “I’ll stop studying, and I’ll be a dummy like him. I’ll forget everything I learned and then I’ll be just like him.” (Keyes 82). By remembering a memory like this, Charlie felt that the only reason he was born was to give trouble and...

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