Intellectual Disabilities In Flowers For Algernon

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Disability is a topic that has been difficult for many to talk about. Many people have many different viewpoints on it, but the brilliantly written book, Flowers for Algernon, has put a new spin on the topic and opened up a whole new world of possibilities for new discussion. This is all because the genius author, Daniel Keyes, gave people a way to discuss the topic and the book in a third person point of view when they are really broadening and speaking their minds on how they think about miserable diseases that is burdening many in this world. In Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Charlie Gordon is a thirty-two old man who has an intellectual disability. He works at Donner’s Bakery where he is met with many of his “friends”. He undergoes…show more content…
One example that shows the poor treatment of Charlie Gordon, the main protagonist, is that he wrote in his journal, “Some times somebody will say hey lookit Frank, or Joe or even Gimpy. He really pulled a Charlie Gordon that time. I dont know why they say it but they always laff and I laff too…[Gimpy] shouted at Ernie because Ernie losst a birthday cake. He said Ernie for godsake you trying to be a Charlie Gordon. I dont know why he said that. I never lost any packiges.” (Keyes 23). This shows that many of Charlie’s co-workers, whom Charlie assumes are his friends, often taunt and pick on him. But Charlie fails to understand that he is the butt of their jokes. If someone accidentally does something wrong and makes a mistake, they will always refer it as a “Charlie Gordon”. Another example that shows the treatment of people with disabilities back then is that in the book, there is a place called the Warren State Home where it takes care of people with disabilities and people that is emotionally disturbed. But some of them, “‘... don’t break down until after they’ve been here for a while. Others were committed by courts, and we had no choice but to admit them even though there’s really no room for them… Do you know how long our own waiting list is? Fourteen hundred,’” (Keyes 226). Another thing about the Warren State Home is that there are about, “‘...Three hundred boys- seventy-five on a floor- and only five of us to look after them…’”(Keyes 225). These two quotes show that the Warren State Home is starting to get overpopulated and there is not enough room for more people. Also, the ratio of supervisors to the people with disabilities in the State Home is about 1:60, which is awfully and ridiculously low. This also indicates that not enough people are willing help the people with disabilities
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