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Flowers For Algernon Essay

1138 words - 5 pages

Often times in society, there are people who are not like others, making them abnormal. These "abnormal" people are outsiders in today's society. Through hard work and perseverance, one can overcome personal obstacles in which they are faced. Daniel Keyes demonstrates this in the book Flowers for Algernon. The main character, Charly Gordon, a retarded adult, used these traits to persevere through the ongoing battle in which he is faced.Charly is thirty-two years old, mentally retarded bakery cleaner who lives alone, and whose whole world is the bakery. His desire for improvement propels him to the special school for slow learners, which is called the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults. "He said Mrs. Kinnian tolld him I was her bestist pupil in Beekman School for retarded adults and I tried the hardist because I reely wantd to lern I wanted it more even then pepul who are smarter even then me. (Keyes 3)" Because of the hard work, perseverance, and the dedication to get smarter, he is chosen to be the subject for a revolutionary experiment. This experiment will test whether or not doctors can raise a person's IQ through a surgical procedure. Since Charly is retarded, his greatest motivation is to be smart like everyone else. He does not think of the other consequences that could occur from the operation. "I hope they use me becaus Miss Kinnian says mabye they can make me smart. I want to be smart." (Keyes 1) Before the operation was performed on Charly, a series of tests had to be done to evaluate his personality, and physical strengths and weaknesses. Charly did not completely understand many of the tests that were being done, or why they were being done in the first place. Since he did not understand, he could not do what was asked of him from the doctors. Charly did not do what he considered "well" on the test and he felt like a failure. "I tried hard but I still coudnt find the picturs I only saw the ink. (2)" This frustrated Charly immensely. He wanted to become smarter so badly, but lost his patience very easily when he thought he was "failing" the tests he was given. This feeling remained with him day and night. This is one reason why these sorts of tests should not be performed on mentally handicapped people. They do not have the capabilities to understand what is going on around them. This develops into one of the conflicts in the story in which Charly has to overcome.After this operation was performed, the subject, in this case Charly, expected a radical change right from the start. When this did not happen, he was extremely disappointed and discouraged."I told him [Dr. Strauss] nothing speshul ever happins to me and it dont look like this speshul experimint is going to happin neither. He says dont get discouriged Charly because it takes a long time and it happins slow and you cant notise it rite away." (16) To observe Charly's improvements he continued to write progress reports, so they...

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