Flowers For Algernon Literary Analysis

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The Meaning of Intelligence
In many instances in everyday life, we always ask this question to ourselves,“What if I were smarter?” Daniel Keyes answers this question well, showing the benefits and hazards of intelligence. In the science fiction story Flowers For Algernon, 37 year old Charlie Gordon goes through a precarious and risky situation in order to improve his 68 IQ intelligence to fit in with others. Struggling through the everyday necessities that others may find effortless, such as reading and writing basic phrases, Charlie is desperate to undergo a surgery that will triple his IQ. After the surgery, Charlie opens his eyes to the colorful world and sees a new perspective of life, full of emotions and morals. He discovers the true
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When Charlie meets up with the one and only person who didn’t sign the petition to fire Charlie. Together, they reflect on the drastic transformation in Charlie, and compares it to the bible. Reflecting on his radical change, Charlie thinks to himself, “This intelligence has driven a wedge between me and all the people I once knew and loved. Before, they laughed at me and despised me for my ignorance and dullness; now, they hate me for my knowledge and understanding” (Keyes 16). In other words, from the surgery, Charlie realizes that Charlie wants to please people and make them happy, and therefore thinks his knowledge will help him build stronger friendships. However, he realizes that his surgery has distanced himself from his coworkers and friends. People are afraid and do not trust him, thinking he has done something evil and dishonest. From this experience, Charlie realizes that what people look for isn’t just intelligence but also personality. If he didn’t have the surgery, Charlie would always yearn for intelligence and not perceive that honesty and dependability are often more valued than his intellectual
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