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Man playing God in “Flowers For Algernon”

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    Can a human go against God? Is a human capable of making another human smart, if so is he going to be successful? Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction story by Daniel Keyes. Flowers for Algernon is a character study of one man, Charlie Gordon. Charlie is a 32-year-old disabled man who undergoes a surgical procedure that will radically increase his mental capabilities. After taking part in the operation, Charlie’s intellect gradually escalates to a genius status. Charlie, the man who was dumb, was maturing mentally and he started seeing the world with a new and different perspective. However, at the end of the book, his brain reverts back to where he started from.

    I found it interesting that how Charlie changes after the surgery and how the society treats him and what happens when a human tries to change how God has made someone. One thing I did not like in this book is the death of Algernon. Algernon was the mouse who was experimented before Charlie and became smart.

    After Charlie undergoes the operation, his life changes for the worse. With intelligence does not come happiness. He experienced loneliness and psychological distress. Before the surgery, Charlie thought his friends are laughing at him because he thought they were his friends, but after the operation, he realized that his friends were actually making fun of him. For example, in the book, he said: “I never knew that Joe and Frank and others liked to have me around all the time to make fun of me” (Keyes 30). Before Charlie became smart, even the simplest things in life were good enough for him. As a genius, none of those things mattered to him. His mind was more complex, he needed more and he wanted more. Carlie’s self-impression also changed.

    Before the experiment in his progress report, he said: “…all my life I wanted to be smart, not dumb…”(Keyes 3). After the experiment, he said, “I’d hidden the picture of the old Charlie Gordon from myself because now that I was intelligent it was something that had to be pushed out of my mind” (Keyes 54)All of these things show how Charlie has changed after the surgery. I found these all things interesting because my supposition was wrong. I thought that after the surgery Charlie will get smart and he will be able to live a normal and a happy life.

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