Is Charlie's Operation a Success?

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Is Charlie's Operation a Success?

Many medical operations are performed everyday, and sometimes they can change a person’s life forever. They can alter the way a person thinks or their personality traits.

Picture someone who is so determined to become smart, that they risk their own life for it. It could be just for a moment, their whole life, or it could not even work. In the book, Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon did just this. He was a 32-year-old mentally challenged man, who worked at Donner’s Bakery as a janitor. Charlie risked his life in order to have an experimental operation, which could potentially make him smart forever and raise his IQ to above average or to the level of a genius. The operation that Charlie underwent had many consequences, and he had to pay a sad price for trying to get smarter. Charlie’s operation was unsuccessful because he experienced painful flashbacks concerning his childhood, it caused a dramatic change to his personality in comparison to what he was prior to his operation, and he also suffered from loneliness.

Firstly, Charlie’s operation made him have many upsetting nightmares, like remembering painful memories of his childhood. As a child, children took advantage of Charlie, because he was mentally challenged. Even his mother and sister made fun of him, and were ashamed to be related to him. One particularly painful memory happened on Valentine’s Day. All the boys, including Charlie, had feelings for a girl named Harriet. Charlie wanted to give Harriet a card, so he asked one of his schoolmates, Hymie, to write, “Dear Harriet, I think you are the most prettiest girl in the whole world. I like you very much and I love you. I want you to be my valentime. Your friend, Charlie Gordon.” Hymie took advantage of the situation and wrote something dirty to make Harriet think that Charlie was a perverted person. Charlie did not realize what Hymie had done, and he gave the card to Harriet. She got mad at him, and her two older brothers, Gus and Oscar, beat up Charlie and knocked his teeth out. This incident caused Charlie to move to a new school. (Keyes 37-38). Charlie was an innocent boy, and his fellow schoolmates took advantage of him. They caused him to move schools for no fault of his own. Similar to that situation, was a flashback Charlie had of his mother and sister who treated him like trash. Charlie’s mother, ...

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...lity in comparison to what he was before he had the operation, and it also caused him to suffer from loneliness. Due to all of the negative effects of the operation, Charlie’s intelligence deteriorated, and he made the wise decision to stay at the Warren Home School. Charlie would have been better off without the experimental operation to make him smarter, because he would not have lost his friends, he would maintain his friendly personality, and he could continue to live the life he liked to live. The operation messed up Charlie’s life and caused him to lose everything he possessed. He always thought that people who were smart had more friends, but it turned out that after his operation, he lost all his friends and this proved his statement wrong. He describes this well when he says, “When I was retarded I had lots of friends. Now I have no one. ” (Keyes 174). He realized that it is who ‘you are’ that takes to have a lot of friends. It is best not to tamper with God’s creation and let things happen naturally. Whether good or bad happens in your life, you must have faith and trust in the plans that God has in store for everyone, or one day, people could end up like Charlie Gordon.

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