Intelligence and Happiness in Flowers for Algernon

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In the story "Flowers for Algernon", the main character, Charlie Gordon is a mentally retarded 37 year-old man with an IQ of sixty-eight. Although he might not have been smart, I believe that Charlie was the definition of happiness. He worked happily as a janitor, was motivated to learn, and had a great time with his so called ?friends.? After Charlie undergoes an experiment that triples his IQ, his life changes for the worse. With intelligence does not come happiness.

For Charlie, Ignorance is bliss. He realizes that his so called ?friends? were just using him to entertain their perverse humor. Also, he was also fired from the job that he loved so much because his new intelligence made those around him feel inferior and scared. This sends Charlie into a short depression. His life was better before the experiment because he had a job he looked forward to and ?friends?.

"Now I'm more alone than ever before," Charlie says on April 30th. He had nobody to relate to because at this point of the story, Charlie?s intelligence has already exceeded that of his teacher and the doctors. 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. As a result, he felt alone and buried himself in his work.

Charlie?s experiment was temporary, and overtime his IQ regressed. Algernon, a mouse that went through the same surgery as Charlie, died. If Charlie?s hypothesis proves correct, then he will die as well. Charlie?s life was better before the experiment because he was not exposed to the risks and consequences of the surgery. Without the experiment, Charlie would still be living his ignorant but happy life.

In conclusion, I believe that Charlie?s life was better before the surgery. Although ?

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