Flowers for Algernon


Word Count: 644

Medical operations are carried out everyday, but for some,
an operation can change a person\'s life. One experiment was
done on a mentally retarded person to try to raise his
intelligence. The experiment worked, but after months, the
patient regressed dramatically. In the book, Flowers for
Algernon, by Daniel Keyes, this intelligence operation was
preformed, and the patient was Charlie Gordon. After the
operation, Charlie was very bright, but experienced
psychological traumas, loneliness, disillusionment, and social
inadequacies. Charlie\'s psychological traumas or emotional
upset was caused by his memory recalls. After his operation,
he remembered every aspect of his childhood, whether it
was good or bad. "...He\'s normal! He\'s normal! He\'ll grow
up like other people. Better than others..." Charlie had
dreams of how his mother was ashamed of him. His mother
always thought her son was normal and would grow up and
be somebody. "...He\'s like a baby. He can\'t play Monopoly
or checkers or anything. I won\'t play with him anymore..."
Charlie\'s sister also ignored him. To her, Charlie was dumb
and could not do anything. Charlie had dreams of his sister
yelling at him and making fun of him. He also had memories
of the night his parents took him to the Warren Home. He
was terrified and his dad would never answer his questions.
Charlie remembered his childhood and through his
memories, he felt guilty for hurting his family. After the
operation, Charlie also suffered from disillusionment. In the
bakery he used to have friends. Friends that would talk to
him and care about him. "...Why? Because all of the sudden
your a bigshot. You think you are better than the rest of
us..." Charlie then realized that he had no friends but merely
knew people that made fun of him. The bakery employees
just liked him because they could blame their mistakes on
Charlie. Then, they could not do this after the operation, so
they all turned against Charlie. "...I had to find out just how
much they knew. I found out. Nothing..." "Both frauds"
Charlie also found out about Nemur and Strauss. He
realized they were not professionals, but two men that were
taking a shot in the dark. Charlie felt like an expendable lab
specimen. Thus, Charlie had lost his friends and knew now
he was just a like a lab rat. Charlie had lacked faith in his
fellow man. "...Thoughts of suicide to stop it all while I am
still in control..." Everyday Charlie lost a piece of himself. He
was starting to regress and thought about suicide to end his
up and down life. He became irritable and edgy around
people at the university. He would become mad at people
very quickly and then yell at them. His self-centered and
arrogant personality was a symptom of his regression.
People stayed away from him because he was becoming a
madman and was unpredictable. Because of this, Charlie
became lonely in his last weeks before he regressed totally.
"...Intelligence without the ability to give and receive
affection can lead to a mental breakdown..." Charlie
experienced social inadequacies while he was intelligent.
"...You know as well as I do, you don\'t need to work here
anymore..." Charlie lost his job because he was to smart to
work in a bakery. He could not socially interact with people
he worked with and the people he met. Also, Charlie could
not perform with Alice or Fay. "...I saw him watching me
with his eyes wide open. I couldn\'t do it..." He experienced
illusions when he tried to make love with Alice. The
"Charlie" inside of himself emerged and started to regain
control of his mind. All in all, Charlie suffered from the pain
of not knowing how to deal with his peers and decisions.
Therefore, after the operation, Charlie became a smart man
but he had to pay the price for it. He had psychological
traumas, suffered from loneliness and illusions, and did not
know how to act with his peers. Charlie regressed and
finally went to the Warren Home, but he at least experienced
the world through normal eyes. On the other hand, Charlie
might of been better off without the experiment. He would
still have friends and a job, but most important of all, he
would have a life.