Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

661 Words3 Pages
Daniel Keyes “Flowers for Algernon” exploits the change in relationships through the protagonist, Charlie Gordon. In the beginning of the novel Charlie is numb. His emotional and intellectual abilities have not developed. He believes his coworkers: Joe, Frank, and Gimpy are his true friends. Charlie Gordon does not feel intimacy physically or emotionally toward anyone and does not know much about his family. Relationships in Flowers for Algernon continue to manifest during the entire story line. At the beginning of the novel it is evident Charlie Gordon’s innocent incompetence caused him to be continuously deceived and manipulated by people he deemed as friends. In Progress Report 3, Charlie is at the bakery and Gimpy is yelling at him because he dropped a tray he was carrying to the oven. However, Charlie is calm because he believes Gimpy is his friend and is does not take his anger towards him seriously. In Progress report 7 Charlie is waking up from his operation. He is anxious to go to the bakery and have a conversation with Joe, Frank, and Gimpy. Charlie believes his intelligence will impress them and that he will be able to engage with others and build more friendships. However, Charlie does not receive his intelligence right away. When he does start to become smarter he comes to the realization that his coworkers are not really his true friends. Gordon discovers that the people he considered to be his friends were mocking him. Another relationship that miraculously changes is Charlie’s physical and emotional intimate relationships. Alice’s compassion towards Charlie attracts him towards her. She has always been there for him before and after his brain operation. Before his operation Charlie could not have a... ... middle of paper ... firm, steadying. “But you know Charlie wouldn’t harm her. It can’t make any difference to her at this age” (Keyes 170). The relationships Charlie encounters in the novel change drastically from what they were before the operation took place. He comes to the realization that Frank Reilly, Joe Carp, and Gimpy are not his true friends. His relationship with Alice changes from a professional relationship to an intimate relationship. Charlie also finds out about his family and realizes that they have disowned him. The people who he thought that cared about turned out to be his worst enemies. When Charlie comes to the realization that he does not have any friends, his family does not want him around, and his relationship with Alice will not work out he feels alone. In the end, the drastic changes in the relationships he counters turn his whole life upside down.
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