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Flowers For Algernon By Daniel Keyes

1346 words - 5 pages

Society has become a shallow place. If an individual does not fit into societies form of the normal person then they are treated differently. But does society treat those who are different in a negative or positive way? In the novel Flowers for Algernon, the author Daniel Keyes shows an in depth look at the treatment of individuals in today's society. Firstly society tends to discriminate against those whose IQ does not fit into the norms of our society. The physically handicapped in today's world are not considered to be "equal" as those who fit into the normal physical appearance, Keyes portrays this through Charlie's thoughts while in the café. Although animals are not technically humans society treats them in ways which no human would wish to be treated, animals have "feelings" just like humans and do not deserve to be tormented just because they cannot talk. In today's society those that do not fall into the norm category are treated in a negative way. In the novel Flowers for Algernon Keyes shows the treatment of different individuals in an intriguing and individual way.
Daniel Keyes shows how negatively those with an abnormally low or high IQ are treated differently in society. Society tends to think that people with an abnormally low IQ and that are considered to be mentally challenged do not have feelings because they cannot comprehend what they are being told. People take advantage of those of low intelligence and use them for their personal enjoyment "They gave me lots of drinks and Joe said Charlie is a card when hes potted. I think that means he likes me. We have some good times but I cannot
wait to be smart like my bestfriends Joe Carp and Frank Reilly."(Keyes 30). This quote shows how Charlie's "friends" used and manipulated him for their personal enjoyment and made Charlie believe that they were his good friends. As Charlie's intelligence increases he thinks that he will be more liked the higher his intelligence climbs, but later Charlie discovers that whether you are of lower intelligence then most of the population or of higher intelligence you still will not quite fit in. "I've discovered that no one really cares for Charlie Gordon whether he is a moron or a genius. (Keyes 172) Charlie's relationship with Alice also shows how whether he is of extreme low extreme high intellect he still cannot communicate with her the way he needs to. " I'm just as far away from Alice with an I.Q of 185 then when I had an IQ of 70" (Keyes 88). In today's society if a persons thoughts slightly differ from those of the majority of the population then they will be scrutinized and shunned from the others. People are not willing to look at an idea through a different perspective and this is shown in Flowers For Algernon, when Charlie discovers the fault in Dr. Nemur's experiment and confronts him about it, Dr. Nemur treats him like the old Charlie who is to mentally challenged to be correct. It is repeated numerous times during the novel that...

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