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Charlie’s Journey in “Flowers for Algernon”

Updated August 12, 2022
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Charlie’s Journey in “Flowers for Algernon” essay

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The most meaningful questions will never have definitive answers. Where is the line between right and wrong? What is the worth of a human life? Daniel Keyes asks these questions of his readers in his short-story Flowers for Algernon. Thirty-seven year old Charlie Gordon’s life takes a major turn when his low IQ is tripled in an irreversible surgery that drastically alters his brain. The advancement of Charlie’s intelligence was in whole a good idea, because it contributed to science, helped him identify his true friends, and.

Charlie’s journey is certainly not optimal, but his experience may save others from the confinement of impaired life. While the effects of the surgery are still in place, Charlie declares his desire to contribute to technological advancement, specifically artificial intelligence. “Seeing the past more clearly, I have decided to use my knowledge and skills to work in the field of increasing human intelligence levels. Who is better equipped for this work? Who else has lived in both worlds? These are my people. Let me use my gift to do something for them”(300). At the peak of his intelligence, Charlie is able to make observations and contributions to the scientific community that are beyond even the most highly regarded figures in their fields. While certain aspects of Charlie’s personality are compromised for the experiment, one must consider the numerous valuable products produced by Charlie in his most high-functioning stage. Even when intelligence has regressed almost entirely, Charlie is still able to acknowledge that the experiment will be beneficial to other people, many of whom are very similar to him. “So I gess its like I did it for all the dumb pepul like me”(306).

Charlie recognizes other people are facing the same challenges he has, and wants to help them. Through all phases of the experiment, Charlie continues to prove he has a strong conscience. He knows that the benefits of his procedure will extend far beyond himself, and he appreciates this. Information obtained from this experiment will influence the way future patients with conditions like Charlie’s are addressed. His empathy and compassion have always been present, but the prior to the surgery, he is unable to take action. Charlie was given the option to make personal sacrifices in order to save other people from living an oblivious life full of constant ridicule and harassment, and knowing it was the right thing to do, he said yes.

Charlie’s Journey in “Flowers for Algernon” essay

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Charlie’s Journey in “Flowers for Algernon”. (2022, Jun 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/charlies-journey-in-flowers-for-algernon/

FAQ

How does Charlie life change in Flowers for Algernon?
Charlie's view of himself in the novel Flowers for Algernon changes from a simplistic, childlike vision to that of a self-aware adult . He becomes increasingly angry as he realizes what his life was like before the operation and that he must go back to this life due to the operation being impermanent.
How is Charlie transformed by his experience of being intelligent?
This neurosurgery stimulates Charlie's brain centers and increases his ability to learn, thereby increasing his intelligence . Over a nine-month period, Charlie keeps "progress reports" documenting his transformation. Charlie's I.Q. eventually in-creases three-fold, bringing many revelations with it.
How would you describe Charlie at the beginning of Flowers for Algernon?
The protagonist and narrator of Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon starts out as a kindhearted, mentally challenged man in his early 30s, who is then given an incredible chance to become a genius when he's selected for experimental brain surgery. After his IQ triples, Charlie must come to terms with his new life.
What does Charlie represent in Flowers for Algernon?
For Charlie, Algernon symbolizes his own identity and struggles . For the reader, Algernon symbolizes fate, reality, and death. Charlie represents change, enlightenment, and the human experience.
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