Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes

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Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes

                   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

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