“Im gonna try to be smart. Im gonna try awful hard. ” In the short story Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon is a 37 year old man with an extremely low I. Q. Throughout the story the author, Daniel Keyes, takes us on a roller coaster of emotions, which are constantly changing. One thing that doesn’t change in the story was Charlie’s great want and need for acceptance. The author reveals the theme of the need for acceptance in the story Flowers for Algernon. It is human nature to want to fit in, and Keyes demonstrated this through Charlie’s words and thoughts.
In a situation where one feels out of place, all they would want to do is fit in. When he was given the opportunity to get a surgery to make him smarter, he was very interested and he didn’t care if it would hurt, because he would risk it all to be smart. One can imply this because on page 515, Charlie said “I dont care if it herts,” after Miss. Kinnian told him about the operation. He understood that it would only be temporary and that there were so many risks and uncertainties, but he did it anyways. Also, on page 515, Charlie says “All my life I wantid to be smart not dumb.
This is evidence that he really cared about becoming smart, and he had wanted it his whole life. This can relate to his want to be normal and fit in, because he wants to be like everybody else, and he knew that this surgery could help him. One could learn that words and actions can easily reveal someone’s feelings. It is a basic instinct to look up to others, and Daniel Keyes uses Charlie’s interactions with his peers to show how he appreciates their support. Looking up to others is something that all people do from the time that they are very young and even when they get older.
Charlie looked up to his friends and appreciated their support throughout the story. In the beginning of the story on page 520, Joe Carp and Frank Reilly were mean to him, and they always played jokes on him. Although Charlie didn’t realize it at first, they were being mean. Towards the end of the story, they started being nice to him, and trying to help him fit in. Because his friends realized that he wanted to be normal like everyone else, the gave him a helping hand at work. To add, his friends also stood up for him with a bully on page 536, which was very heartwarming, because Charlie really looked up o them.
One could really connect to the story at this part, because many people have been in bullying situations before. These friendships were essential in Charlie’s life, because they were regular interactions with people other than scientists and teachers. Empathy is a powerful human emotion used by Daniel Keyes when he wrote from Charlie’s perspective. Empathy is the capacity to understand that someone else’s pain is just as meaningful as your own. One can observe this from the way that Charlie had great motivation to become smart and try his best.
He went to night school and really wanted the surgery to become smarter. Charlie also told the doctors how hard he would try, and they could definitely see that through his efforts to pass each test that they gave him. On page 515, Charlie said “I said please let me try agen. Ill get it in a few minits becaus Im not so fast somtimes. ” This passage revealed Charlie’s great motivation to be normal and try hard. Overall, his motivation throughout the story really made the reader feel a close connection to him because he wanted to do well and to fit in so badly.
In conclusion, “Flowers for Algernon” taught one a strong message about fitting in through many situations with the main character, Charlie Gordon. Throughout this short story, Charlie went from being dumb to smart, and it really helped him to see the world better, and to know that he wasn’t ever going to be normal. With help from friends, doctors, and teachers, he was able to reach a genius level, but he just felt more alone. Overall, Charlie just wanted to fit in, but he soon realized that that wasn’t the path for him.