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Experiment Gone Bad in Flowers for Algernon

One experiment was done on a mentally retarded person to try to raise his intelligence. The experiment worked, but after months, he came back to the state he orginally was at. In the book, Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes, this intelligence operation was done, and the patient was Charlie Gordon. After the operation, Charlie was very bright, but experienced loneliness, and physcological distress. Charlie was emotionaly upset because of his flashbacks from childhood, and because his intellegence grew faster then his emotional intellegence.

After his operation, he slowly started getting flashbacks from different parts of his childhood. In many of them his mother would go off and start saying, “… 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. 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, in the bakery, he used to have friends. Friends that would talk to him and care about him. 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. Charlie also found out about Nemur and Strauss, the men who preformed the operation. 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. 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.

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. Charlie lost his job because he was to smart to work in a bakery. Although Charlie was a genius he had no real social skills. 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. In the end Charlie regressed to a final point and went to the Warren Home. He once again got his job back at the bakery and has forgotten just about everthing he had once known. I suppose in the end he was better off then when he had started. Although he remembers very little of what happened to him, but the people at the bakery now respect him and stick up for him. Not only that but now, instead of being a self-centered, he now cares for others more then he cares for himself.

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