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A summary of daniel keyes flowers for algernon

Flowers for Algernon Summary

His teacher, Alice Kinnian, recommends him for a research experiment on intelligence conducted by Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur. This experiment, funded by the Welberg Foundation, has already been successful on a white lab mouse named Algernon, so the researchers are ready for a human participant.

  • This experiment, funded by the Welberg Foundation, has already been successful on a white lab mouse named Algernon, so the researchers are ready for a human participant;
  • He finds it difficult to take any action, interact closely with any person, because of his wildly contrasting "selves;
  • Can he give it some meaning?
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  • Instead of intelligence or accomplishment, it is our connection to others that accept us for who we are that is the ultimate lesson of the novel;
  • The main theme of the book is the act of playing God.

Professor Nemur tells Charlie to keep a journal in the form of progress reports for the experiment. He also describes, in a childlike manner, his desire to increase his intelligence to participate fully in discussions and make more friends.

Flowers For Algernon Summary

After the successful operation, he is disappointed that he is not instantly smarter. In the evenings, Miss Kinnian tutors him, and soon he is beating Algernon in maze races and has learned to read.

  1. Another theme is friendship. Just before Charlie undergoes surgery, the nurse tells him that if God wanted him to be smart, he would have made him smart.
  2. The anguish this causes is the subject matter of this and the following chapters.
  3. The same begins to happen to Charlie. It is written as a series of letters and progress reports from Charlie himself, and in the beginning, the writings are elementary and full of spelling and grammatical errors.
  4. How long can he be the latter? Nemur is cold and formal.

His intelligence increases rapidly. He is promoted to dough mixer at work and slowly realizes that the people he thought of as friends have been making fun of him.

  1. He finds it difficult to take any action, interact closely with any person, because of his wildly contrasting "selves. However, the higher his intelligence, the worse his relationships become.
  2. Strauss and Professor Nemur, and he realizes there is a flaw in their research.
  3. From now on Charlie has to race against time to do something of value.
  4. If Charlie fails, it will negate his own work. The writing style of the novel is particularly important to the story.
  5. The anguish this causes is the subject matter of this and the following chapters. The same begins to happen to Charlie.

They notice changes in him and become suspicious. Around the time he suggests a few improvements at the bakery, he also catches Gimpy stealing from Mr.

After he confronts Gimpy, the employees band together to have Charlie fired. Only Fanny Birden stands on his side, but while saying good-bye she suggests that something unnatural is happening to Charlie. Charlie throws himself into reading and spends time at Beekman University pretending to be a student.

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He also begins remembering childhood events and meets regularly with Dr. Strauss for therapy sessions.

In the middle of June, Charlie and Algernon are put on display at the annual psychological association convention in Chicago. His intelligence has surpassed that of both Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur, and he realizes there is a flaw in their research.

During the distraction, he and Algernon return to New York. He works on finding his parents and sister to attempt reconnecting with them. Charlie befriends a neighbor, Fay, who helps socialize him. They drink and go dancing. During this time, when memories surface, Charlie recognizes a sort of disassociation, as if a switch has been flipped: At such times, he seems either to watch his own behavior through the eyes of a frightened man with the intelligence of a six-year-old or to watch a developmentally disabled and confused young man through the eyes of a thirty-two-year-old genius.

Flowers For Algernon Summary

A race begins, as he feverishly works to find the flaw in the experiment before he can no longer comprehend the science involved. By September, Algernon is dead. Charlie reacts violently to his progressive loss of knowledge and rejects Alice, with whom he had finally connected.

He has come full circle.