Flowers For Algernon Theme

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“I feel sick inside. Not sick like for a doctor, but inside my chest it feels empty like getting punched and a heartburn at the same time.” Striving to be smart, Charlie Gordon is part of a scientific experiment to help make him intelligent. The experiment is being tested on a mouse named Algernon to see results in humans and animals. Charlie comes to be smart after days of exercising the brain, even in his sleep. Charlie takes in an abundance of information due to his determinations or knowledge. His new companion, Algernon, motivates Charlie and foreshadows his life as well. In the short story, Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes creates the theme that disrupting the natural way of life can deprive someone of happiness. Although…show more content…
First of all, people in the story use Charlie in an amusing fashion. For instance, two of Charlie’s so called friends, Joe Carp and Frank Reilly, took him out to a party just so they could laugh at him. Based on the text, “Everybody was laughing. Frank said, ‘I ain’t laughed so much since we sent him off for the newspaper that night at Muggsy’s and ditched him’” (55). Because Charlie understands why his “friends” invite him to have a good time (for them), he becomes very ashamed of his intelligence. Now Charlie has the right to know that he shouldn’t surround himself with these people, but this experiment has brought nothing but sadness and shame to Gordon. Similar to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, one of the keepers for the primitive inmates takes his friends into the corridor where the apes are, and uses them for their own amusement by spooking the poor animals. Secondly, Charlie’s co-workers cannot accept his improved IQ, as they avoid him, Charlie feels neglected. After Charlie creates a new way to line machines up in the factory where he works, his boss gave him a $25 bonus, but Charlie writes, “Everybody seems to be frightened of me...People don’t talk to me much anymore or kid around the way they used to. It makes the job kind of lonely” (57). Since Charlie got used to everyone joking around with him, his loneliness stirs…show more content…
Dr. Nemur, one of the scientists conducting the experiment, starts to be feel uncomfortable around Charlie. For instance, when Charlie tries “to talk to him, he just looks at [him] strangely and turns away” (63). After Charlie is ignored by Nemur, he feels mocked and reveals that he is “oversensitive at being made fun of” now (63). Since Charlie keeps improving his mind, he uses very high level words, where nobody can understand him but himself. When Charlie tried to keep discussion on a “simple, everyday level,” Miss Kinnian ended up with a blank look, and asking him what he “meant about the mathematical variance equivalent in Dorbermann’s Fifth Concerto” (64). Charlie’s social awkwardness leads to him being “alone in [his] apartment” where he “seldom speaks to anyone” (64). One night at a local diner, Gordon kicks himself for being blind to what he had gone through for close to thirty years. At the diner, a mentally retarded busboy received sarcastic remarks after dropping white china all across the floor, the teen employee mirrored all the customers’ grins because he had not known that they were laughing at him. Charlie lashes out after he noticed he joined the laughter. Charlie writes, “Suddenly, I was furious at myself and all those who were smirking at him. I jumped up and shouted, ‘Shut up!...He can’t help what he is! But for God’s
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