Analysis of Novel Flowers for Algernon

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In the novel Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes lets the reader follow the journey of Charlie Gordon a thirty seven year old man who, barring an exceptionally low IQ of sixty eight, willingly undergoes a surgical procedure which will triple his IQ in hopes of being smarter, until things take an interesting toll when things don’t go exactly as planned when Charlie realizes that ‘smart’ doesn’t just mean knowing facts, but also a deeper understanding of the world and especially the people in it. THESIS First, in result of the surgery, Charlie gains the mental capacity to perceive and interpret other people’s motives and actions. An ideal illustration showing the progression of Charlie’s social skills sharpening is his relationship with Joe Carp and Frank Reilly, who are two men that work at the same factory as Charlie and who he considers as his best friends that “ are smart people but there good. They like me and they never did anything that wasnt nice”.

LEAD IN that shows, “ Then Frank Reffly said what did you do Charlie forget your key and open your door the hard way. That made me laff. Their really my friends and they like me. Sometimes somebody will say hey look at Joe or Frank or George he really pulled a Charlie Gordon. I dont know why they say that but they always laff”. At this point in this

RELATIONSHIP, Charlie had the fallacy that the phrase “Pulling a Charlie Gordon” was a good thing and doesn’t know that Joe and Frank only enjoys his company, purely because his low intelligence made him the perfect target for their mean jokes and comments. They were able to feel above Charlie without experiencing any resistance because he never stood up to them and was too oblivious and couldn’t pick up enough {social cues to understand that their company weren’t validation and a sign of friendship but degrading and hurtful. On the contrary, after the surgery has passed and while Charlie’s IQ was rising rapidly, he comes to the realization that Frank and Joe to be not as good of friends than he had once believed when Joe tries to embarrass him by repeatedly tripping him while he was dancing at a party. After Charlie left the party, on the way home he reflects that, “ It’s a funny thing I never knew that Joe and Frank and the others liked to have me around all the time to make fun of me. Now I know what it means when they say “to pull a Charlie Gordon.” I’m ashamed.” Upon becoming conscious of Joe and Frank’s motives, Charlie understands that they only hung around them because they saw him merely as an opportunity to laugh at him. These contrasting situations indicate that Charlie has gained significant emotional intelligence and is able to read social cues as well as connect them, something he was incapable of doing before the operation.

Subsequently, Charlie felt embarrassed, ashamed, and humiliated- feelings that he hadn’t felt before the operation. He connected the dots, putting the pieces together, and drew conclusions between events and his feelings. That demonstrates a higher level of reasoning Charlie never had experience with, but despite this, came to understanding Frank and Joe’s true personalities, intentions, and motives. This is an important milestone for Charlie and if he hadn’t had the operation, he wouldn’t have become conscious that he had been unfairly taken advantage of both in the moment, but reflecting on past experiences.


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Analysis of Novel Flowers for Algernon. (2022, Jun 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/analysis-of-novel-flowers-for-algernon/



What are 2 themes in Flowers for Algernon?
The themes of intelligence and humanity are present in Flowers for Algernon.
What is a good thesis statement for Flowers for Algernon?
A good thesis statement for Flowers for Algernon might discuss the role of intelligence in human relationships, particularly how Charlie's newfound intelligence alienates him from those who care about him.
What is the main message of Flowers for Algernon?
The main message of Flowers for Algernon is that intelligence is not everything. It is possible to be smart and still be unhappy.
What is the theme of Algernon?
The central theme in Flowers for Algernon Flowers for Algernon is a character study of one man, Charlie Gordon . Charlie is a 32-year-old developmentally disabled man who has the opportunity to undergo a surgical procedure that will dramatically increase his mental capabilities. Book Summary - Flowers for Algernon - CliffsNotes is Man Playing God . The basic structural layout of the novel supports this theme. The novel's chronological timeline begins March 3 and ends November 21. The seasonal interpretation is obvious.
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