Flowers For Algernon

670 Words2 Pages

In society, many individuals attempt to change their appearance or personality for the benefit of others or to improve their own self worth. Ultimately, these changes have the ability to boost one’s self esteem. In Daniel Keys’s Flowers For Algernon, Charlie Gordon undergoes surgery to increase his intelligence. Even though his intelligence is not a permanent transformation, it allows him to become more aware about his own life. Charlie’s transformation is ethical and therefore the result is worth the attempt. As a result of the operations, Charlie gains the experience of what it is like to be intelligent. Therefore, he sees the world as it is. “Only a short time ago, I learned that people laughed at me. Now I can see that unknowingly I joined them in laughing at myself. This hurts most of all” (76.) He can now truly understand how the outside world functions and how he is truly treated. First, Charlie takes the Rorschach Test, in which he has to identify inked pictures posted on white cards. Imagination plays a big part in the Rorschach Test. This is very difficult for Charlie, since he cannot use his imagination in the way people expect him to, because he sees everything as it is. Charlie’s mental ability is tested by racing a mouse, Algernon, in all kinds of tests, including the maze. “I hate that mouse. He always beats me” (59.) Charlie isn’t stating that he hates Algernon because he’s jealous, or that he even hates him at all. He doesn’t appreciate the fact that Algernon makes him bad about himself. Charlie in actuality takes in the truth of the situation, in which he is Algernon. Algernon is Charlie. The two are in a way alike, because they both see things as they are. This also creates the irony that Charlie first “hate... ... middle of paper ... ...lity, not only is he leaving for the benefit of himself, but the benefit of others as well. He doesn’t want to be exposed to all the sympathy that he will receive from Miss Kinnian, Dr Strauss & Nemur, and even the factory workers. By leaving, he could have a chance that most people cannot have; he can start his life over. Although whether or not Charlie’s transformation is ethical is completely up for interpretation; it’s fairly evident that it is. This transformation makes him see life in a brand new way, as he discovers factors that he could not determine before undergoing the surgery. Most importantly, when Charlie is able to become conscious of his true self and who is really worth caring for in his life, he makes a brave decision to start over with life. Charlie learns that there really is no benefit in changing for anybody, and to just be who you really are.

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