Charlie Gordon

A Character of the Mind.

Who is Charlie Gordon?

Charlie Gordon is a 37 year old man who is mentally disabled. All of his life, he has wanted to be smart. He goes to adult night school and after a few months, he is chosen for a surgery that will triple his IQ of a mere 68.

Before the Operation

He is determined.

Charlie is oblivious to most things around him before the operation. He also is very determined to become smart as he says here, “He said I have good motor-vation. I felt proud when he said that not everybody has an eye-q of 68 had that thing” (Keyes 36).


Charlie is very happy before the operation as well. he is very excited that his lifelong dream is coming true. He proceeds to say the following, “The nice lady who gave me it to me told me the name and I asked her how do you spellit so I can rite it in my progris riport”(Keyes 35). He has no negative feelings before the operation.

After the Operation

Charlie became very lonely and depressed.

After the operation, Charlie became more aware. As he became more aware, he started to feel he had no friends. His co-workers were treating him like trash and Dr. Nemur treated him like a lab rat,

“It’s a funny thing I never knew that Joe and Frank and the others liked to have me around all the time to make fun of me” (Keyes 43).

He also pushes all the people in his life away from him after Algernon's untimely death.

“Dr. Strauss comes around almost everyday, but I told him I don't want to speak to anybody. He feels guilty. They all do. But I don't blame anyone. I knew what might happen. But how it hurts” (Keyes 59). This shows how much he misses having his intelligence.

How is Charlie a dynamic character?

Charlie changes throughout the story. He becomes more angry with himself and he becomes smarter. He also becomes more serious and lonely. Certain situations also trigger his emotions. He changed because of the operation. The author taught me a very important thing in this story. Not every change is for the better. I believe Keyes showed us this message through Charlie because he is the best example of this saying. He changed, but it wasnt a good change. The operation helped out science, but it ended up ruining his life in the process. He left new York because everybody laughed at him there and everybody knew him as dumb, then he became smart, then dumb again. The characters around him showed him pity and he hates it because he at one point in his life didn't need to be helped every second. Charlie changes drastically throughout the story.