Flowers For Algernon Project

By Grace Thibodeaux

The Story

Flowers For Algernon is a touching story. It is about a man named Charles Gordon, or Charlie, who isn't the same as everyone else. Charlie is mentally disabled, meaning he is slower educational wise than everyone else around him. People treat him like a doormat, and hurt his feelings on a daily basis. He has to take special classes, with Miss Kinnian as his teacher. Miss Kinnian informs Charlie that doctors are requesting a person from her class to be a part of their experiment. They think that there is a special operation where mentally disabled people become smart. This brain surgery is all Charlie says he needs to be happy. While they are still considering Charlie as a candidate, they want to test him to make sure he is a good person to test on. Charlie meets a mouse, Algernon, who had the same operation that awaits him. Charlie grows close to Algernon, and they become friends. Then, Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur perform the operation. It works! Charlie is so happy and excited to use his new abilities. People realize how smart he is, and they finally accept him. Over time Charlie's mind returns to it's normal state. The same thing happens to Algernon. Algernon grows violent and Charlie notices. After about another week, Algernon passes, and Charlie is devastated. After Charlie realizes what's happening to him, he runs away from his home because he doesn't want people to feel sorry for him. Charlie leaves in hopes of finding new friends that accept him for who he is.

The Operation

This operation is a complex procedure that modifies parts of the brain. This supposidly cures mental disabilities. Today, researchers think they might have found such a cure. It is taken under deep consideration because it can damage more than it can fix. The operation is so intricate that researchers will not perform it in the next 50, or so, years. By modifying a certian area of the brain, intellect and IQ grades would rise, resulting in the next Einstein.

Pros of the Operation

This operation could give the patient much positivity. Could you imaging going from a low intelectual level to a high intelectual level? This could give mentally disabled people a chance to prove that they are not worthless like people tell them. (Not that they are but that's what people tell them. Not me. I think all people have a reason to be on this Earth. Otherwise they wouldn't be here.) It could boost their self esteem and make them want to do things that could change the world. Making people happy is a good thing. This operation could, in fact, make millions happy with who they are and how they were made.

Cons of the Operation

This operation could end very badly for the participant. Just as it is written in Flowers for Algernon, the mind could deteriorate. If a person with a disability is to have the operation, what are the odds for it working? If what happend to Charlie happends to the participant, it could end badly. Taking away a disabled person's intelligence is like taking away candy from a baby, devastating. It could damage the person's confidence, or just ruin the person all together. Also, it go agains our faith. You were made how you were made, and you shouldn't try to change that. You must learn how to accept who you are.

Why Someone Would Want This

Mentally diasbled people are teased for their disabilities. It is a proven fact. For some reason, people in this world are cruel. An operation could be the answer to their prayers. Taking away their disability would take away the pain and sufferung that civilians cause them. They could be happy being smart becausue being smart would mean being accepted by others. If you are accepted, people are nice to you. If people are nice to you, then happiness is gained.

How Mentally Disabled People Are Treated

Mentally disabled people are treated unfairly. People treat them like doormats and make them feel useless. Over time, these people start to belive what others tell them. This can lead to depression, or worse. People treat them like useless pieces of nothing. It is wrong for people to do that to them because they are not like normal people. A normal person would shrug it off and find other people to be around. Disabled people don't know how to handle those situations. Instead, people take advantage of the disabled and hurt them more. People in this world can be cruel, but there are some who are kind the them. The people who are kind save the disabled from the harm of others.

Why I Liked This Story

I like this story because it is not like normal stories. This story tells a tale of an unusual person. Unusual is unique, and unique is not something authors think of when writing stories. Authors write about what is "in" intead of what they would like to write about, with their own ideas. I like it when people write from the heart and not the brain. I think Keyes made a work of art by writing Flowers for Algernon.

Daniel Keyes Biograghy

Daniel Keyes was born on August 9, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York. Keyes is best known for his publication, Flowers for Algernon, which was awarded Author Emeritus Honor by Science Fiction and Fandasy Writers of America in 2000. Before he began publishing novels, Keyes was an average guy. At the age of 17 Keyes joined the U.S. Maritime Service, which is a voulantary organization that trains participants for sea activity/jobs. They train for jobs that include mostly transporting cargo and people across seas. Later on in his life, he decided to go to college. He recieved a B.A. in psycology, and a M.A. in English and American Literature at Brooklyn College. During his college time, he taught English in many New York City public schools. He also spent time writing on weekends. He would enjoy writing and soon, he started publishing.


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