Daniel Keyes' Flowers for Algernon: Taking Chances in Life Essay

Submitted By MMommer
Words: 1445
Pages: 6

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John Brown
Mrs. Smith
ENG3U
October 31, 2014
The Experience of Life “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. In life people have to take chances. If they do not take chances they will never have different experiences throughout their lifetime. Taking chances and risks is all a part of life. Sometimes they turn out great and other times they turn out terrible, but they are always lessons to be learned from taking a risk. In the novel “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes the experiment is a positive experience for Charlie because he gained the intelligence he always wanted, it opened up his world beyond the bakery and he discovered truths about the people around him. Charlie always wanted to be different and the experiment did exactly what Charlie wanted. When Charlie Gordon was younger most people knew he was not the smartest person. When he got older he also figured it out and began to attend Beekman College center for Retarded Adults. His wish was to be intelligent, show the world he was not different. Charlie always wanted to be as smart as “most” people. Now Charlie knew he was not as smart as “most” people and that is one of the reasons he wanted this experiment done and also one of many reasons why the experiment was a positive to Charlie’s life. The experiment that Dr.
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Strauss, Prof Nemur and Burt Selden perform on Charlie is for the better is because it does exactly what the doctors say it does, exactly what Charlie wants it to do. It makes him more intelligent. Charlie gradually gets smarter after the experiment. Within time he begins to write his “progris riports”(1) with little to no errors after the experiment. He starts to read brilliant works by the likes of “Dickens, Heminway, Faulkner” (71). Furthermore, Charlie always wanted to talk with the college students about “books and politics and ideas/ poetry and science” (69). He eventually becomes so intelligent that he finds it childish and immature to argue around a lunch table about these things. Charlie’s IQ practically triples with the help of the experiment and that causes him to become even more intelligent than some of the college kids that he used to look up to. It is everything Charlie has always wanted and more. He has dreamed about all this happening to him one day and with the help of one little experiment, a couple of doctors and professors made Charlie’s dream, reality. Secondly, much like the intelligence part of Charlie’s life, the social part changed too. Before the experiment Charlie was restricted to a delivery boy at Donner’s Bakery making little money every day. After the experiment Charlie’s world broadens. As was said before, Charlie always wanted to discuss problems with the college students. Even though he found it a little bit foolish to banter about things with the college kids, he still wanted to show them how smart he was and the experiment gave him enough confidence and self-esteem to discuss such things as “whether or not Shakespeare really wrote Shakespeare’s plays”(70). The experiment even opens up Charlie to love and sexual interaction. Charlie always had a crush on his adult school teacher,
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Miss Alice Kinnian before the operation, but after he began to develop a love for Miss Kinnian. It happens so quick that on their second date Charlie exclaims to her “The last time we were here I told you I liked you. I should have trusted myself to say I love you”(92). Charlie falls so deep into an artificial love that he dreams about Miss Kinnian and making love to her. The only thing is Alice doesn’t feel the same and after she tells Charlie she cannot do it and that their relationship should be at work only Charlie goes out and buys an apartment on his own where he ends up meeting his beautiful neighbour, Fay Lillman. Charlie begins an affair with Fay and this shows him that there is more to life than books and knowledge. He finds out that you have to learn about life…