Charlie In Daniel Keyes Flowers For Algernon

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In Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, there is a thirty-two year old, intellectually disabled man, Charlie Gordon who undergoes an operation to increase his intelligence. Charlie works at Donner’s bakery and before the operation, Charlie is not treated very nicely by his peers at his job and even his family throughout his childhood. After the operation, he is able to realize how he was treated and what the situation looks like to “normal” people. Daniel Keyes wants to argue the treatment of disabled people compared to the “normal” people in society.
Before/In the beginning stages of the operation, Charlie represents the disabled people who aren’t treated well in society. He was not treated very well by his co-workers while he was working
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Charlie is able to realize the real meaning behind things that are happening around him. Charlie went to a diner and saw that, “there was a new dishwasher, a boy of about sixteen… And then, clearing away the table behind me, he dropped some dishes. They crashed to the floor, shattering and sending bits of white china under the tables… The whistles and catcalls from the customers (cries of “hey, there go the profits!”... “Mazel tov!”... and “well, he didn’t work here very long…” which invariably seems to follow the breaking of dishware in a public restaurant)... I realized what I had recognized in him. They were laughing at him because he was retarded” (197-198). Charlie sees the new dishwasher at the diner, he realizes that the boy is “retarded” and that it why they are laughing at him. Charlie is able to defend the boy from the laughter and say something to the customers in the diner, he tells them to “Shut up! Leave him alone! He can’t understand. He can’t help what he is… but for God’s sake, have some respect! He’s a human being!” (199). Charlie is able to have a perspective on what others were looking at when he was getting mistreated by Joe Carp and Frank…show more content…
In our society, people with and without disabilities are granted rights. Throughout history, disabled people weren’t granted as many rights as people without disabilities. Disability rights have expanded greatly since the 1800s where they were forced to be put in institutions. Now, disabled people have many rights wherever they go and many people have impacted that change. Many concepts have been expanded greatly such as ramps, elevators, closed captioning, etc. to be able to support the people with
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