Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Progress report 1. I was considered to be used by Dr Strauss. Miss Kinnian thinks I can become smart again. My name is Charlie Gordon and I work in a bakery. I am 32 years old. I am retarded.

Progress report 2. I think I might have failed a test. Burt tested me using a few cards. I couldn’t see pictures on the cards when there were supposed to be. Miss Kinnian is my teacher in class. It was called a raw shok test. I was afraid I didn’t clear the test.

Progress report 3. The professor was called Nemur. I was Miss Kinnian’s favorite student. Learning was always my goal. The experiment they were planning on me was so far only conducted on animals. My sister was Norma but I have never seen my mum and dad and her for a long time.

Progress report 4. I took a thematic appreciation test now. I had to make up a story about people in pictures I saw. I was angry as I hated lying to come up with stories. Later, I started drawing pictures. Next I played a puzzle game. Algernon was a mouse on the 5th floor. He was a very smart mouse. The mouse managed to complete the puzzle that I was assigned. Now, I had to race him. For every wrong move I made, I received an electric shock. I didn’t known mice were so smart.

Progress report 5. Mum and Norma gave permission for my operation. I was happy and ready to go. The good thing that the professor said I had was motivation. I was interested and eager to please. The aim was to improve my intelligence. Prof Nemur wasn’t on my side. However, there were a lot of risks associated with the experiment. Algernon had successfully undergone the experiment. Even if the experiment failed, I would have contributed to society.

Progress report 6. Many people wished me luck. I kept the lucky penny with me just in case. I was not to disclose this secret to my colleagues at work. I hoped to read and spell better and I wanted to beat Algernon in the race. This experiment might be repeated in others if it was successful. ‘I don’t care so much about being famous. I just want to be smart like other people so I can have lots of friends like me.’

Progress Report 7. The operation was over. I could spell Progress and March now. There were bandages on my head. I was gassed during the operation. Burt monitored me after the operation on a daily basis. All the progress reports were kept. I wanted to be able to participate in intellectual conversations.

If your smart you can have lots of frends to talk to and you never get lonley by yourself all the time. – Charlie Gordon

Hilda the nurse brings things for me to eat. Maybe Dr Strauss had no right to operate on me. Was it against God to receive the operation?

Hilda said mabey they got no rite to make me smart because if god wanted me to be smart he would have made me born that way. And what about Adem and Eev and the sin with tree of nowlege and eating the appel and the fall. And mabey Prof Nemur and dr Strauss was tampiring with things they got no rite to tampir with. – Charlie Gordon

Lucille replaced Hilda as my nurse. I thought that I would be smart instantly after the operation. It would be slow and I would have to work very hard. The operation would improve my memory. I wanted to show off to others how smart I was.

Progress Report 8. I thought all the tests were stupid, so were the progress reports. Mum told me that I should love god and pray to him. I visited a college and I was to clean a psych department lab. Nemurs did not want to seem like a failure. Burt was a graduate student in psychology. I hated Algernon for being very smart. I wasn’t smart yet. I hated my life and didn’t want to write progress reports anymore. I was paid to write but it’s very difficult for me. I was going back to work in the bakery. It took a long time for Algernon to be 3 times smarter. He was unique because he could stay smart for a long time. Mr Donner hired another boy Ernie to help. I was working at the bakery since I was 17. My uncle passed away when I was 19. Mr Donner said I could have the job for life. Gimpy was the head baker. I wanted to learn to be an apprentice baker. Mr Donner said the work was complicated and that I shouldn’t think about it for now. I didn’t want to visit the lab and race Algernon. Prof Nemur brought me a teaching machine. Dr Strauss persuaded me to try it. I had to have faith in myself. The machine could teach me things when I was sleepy and also induce dreams. I missed Miss Kinnian. The brain learns when it is asleep too. Maybe only certain shows made me smart. The device woke me up at night. I walked into the school hall. I recalled the time when I first met Miss Kinnian. Thinking and remembering was very difficult for me. I had to attend therapy sessions with Dr Strauss now. I talked about the bakery experience. I had to turn on the TV at low volumes when I went to bed. Dr Strauss explained that sometimes I couldn’t sleep because everyone has two minds, the conscious and subconscious mind. I played drinking games with Joe and Frank. However, they teased me at the bar. I was lost when I couldn’t find Joe. I started crying. It was all a very bad dream. Now, I started beating Algernon. I wanted to feed him as I felt bad for beating him. Algernon had to complete puzzles to get food now. ‘I don’t think it’s right to make you pass a test to eat.’ Charlie Gordon. I didn’t feel any change in me but they were saying I was smarter. Miss Kinnian came to visit me one day. She said that she had confidence in me. I pitied Robinson Crusoe because he was a lonely man. Miss Kinnian thought me to spell better and how to remember

Progress Report 9. I started working the dough-mixer because Oliver quit. Gimpy and Joe liked to tease me and they challenged me to try. However, I proved myself that I could use the machine. I also demonstrated it to Mr Donner. I did a better job that Oliver. Mr Donner gave me a 5 dollar raise. Instead of washing toilets, I would get to use the machine. I finished reading Robinson Crusoe. I was learning fast. I recalled at how my mum was when I was younger. Mum slapped me when I touched my little sister when I was very young.

She said for a person who God gave so little to you did more than a lot of people with brains they never even used. – Miss Kinnian

Today, I learned, the comma, this is, a, comma (,) a period, with, a tail, Miss Kinnian, says its, importent, because, it makes writing, better, she said, somebody, could lose, a lot, of money, if a comma , isn’t in, the right place… – Charlie Gordon

Miss Kinnian taught me to use a comma and I experimented with it. I started remembering better and how to use comma as a punctuation. I started learning about other forms of punctuation. I started reading a grammar book. The progress report showed that I was developing and I could compare with my previous self. I stayed home as I was sick. I started dancing with Ellen after being persuaded by Joe to do so in a club. Everyone started laughing at me but I didn’t feel amused. I was getting upset after realizing that I was being bullied and treated like a kid. I wanted to run away and hide. The rest liked to hang out with me just to poke fun at me. I fantasized over Ellen at night.

It’s because I’m so dumb and I don’t even know when I’m doing something dumb. People think it’s funny when a dumb person can’t do things the same way they can. – Charlie Gordon

My spelling has improved tremendously. I recalled the first day when I joined Donner’s Bakery. I could now picture how I was back then. Dr Strauss said the best way was to recall memories and write it down. He was a neurosurgeon and a psychiatrist. The key was for me to understand yourself. Memories may not be pleasant and I might not be able to handle them

The more intelligent you become the more problems you’ll have, Charlie. Your intellectual growth is going to outstrip your emotional growth. – Dr Strauss warned me

Soon, I would be able to lead foreign languages. I read The Great Gatsby and the American Tragedy. I was still angry that people were making fun of me. There was much debate about what IQ could measure. Mine was over a 100 now. Soon, I would be taking the Rorschach test. . The subconscious was about to block my consciousness from remembering. I remembered a girl named Harriet in my younger days. She was a favorite among the boys. I took a piece of red ribbon and got a friend to help me compose a message for her for Valentine’s day. Harriet didn’t wear it the next day and looked upset. Gus, her brother, pushed me. I was labelled as a degenerate and wasn’t welcome in the school. Gus and Oscar hurt me. Harriet never returned the locket. Rorschach test was the one with ink blots. It was a standard personality test. I shouted at Burt because he lied at me when he said there were pictures on them previously. I was upset again. Prof Nemur grabbed me on the way out. Now, I was suspicious to the world around me. I could make out certain shapes on the inkblots. I didn’t think I could trust Burt again. Now, I knew what I was writing would be under close examination.

Progress Report 10. Mr Donner gave me a raise when I improved productivity. No one talks to me at work anymore. Frank liked to bully me in the past. Gimpy was defending me when I started recalling an incident. Gimpy wanted me to learn how to make rolls. Gimpy and Frank demonstrated differently and I was confused. Charlie didn’t dare to start as he was afraid of making mistakes. He didn’t manage to do it due to the fact that they couldn’t wait for him. How would Frank and Gimpy feel about me now.

Would he ever learn to read what was in the balloons? If they gave him enough time – if they didn’t rush him or push him too fast – he would get it. But nobody has time. – Charlie

The people at the bakery were hostile to me. They were getting jealous of my success. Now I knew that I would not write private matters for Dr Strauss. I was allowed to keep the personal reports for myself. I overhead that Dr Strauss and Nemur that he would be presenting my case to a convention in Chicago. They were engaged in heated battle. Nemur wanted to present the findings while Dr Strauss thought it was too premature. I left in shock. They were just men who wanted to claim credit for their work. I can better understand conversations at the university canteen. People were talking about politics, art and God. They talked about whether there was a God and I was shocked. I read about most of the famous philosophers and writers.

Now I understand one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you’ve believed in all your life aren’t true, and that nothing is what it appears to be. – Charlie Gordon

Mum wanted to be in an elementary school but the principal wanted me in a special school. Mum cried. This was all when I was 6 years old. Mum didn’t want to take me as she was moving out as she thought there was something wrong with me. All these arguments affected Charlie. Charlie was directed to the bathroom. His mum didn’t want to follow him and show him the way to the toilet. I finally recalled that my mum was Rose and my dad was Matt. My dad, in a fit of rage, walked out of the apartment.

Progress Report 11. I went with Miss Kinian for dinner and then to the movies. I really wanted to touch her. She was very beautiful indeed. I could deeply understand the film and was improving in my perception and judgment of issues. She admitted that I was much better than an ordinary person and that I was revealed as a genius. She hoped that I wouldn’t get hurt. Miss Kinnian was afraid that something might go out. I admitted I liked her. I was becoming more and more self-conscious. Miss Kinnian was apologetic that when she said that perhaps I shouldn’t have told her that and connect with her on an emotional level. She declined my advances and said that we not ready. I was furious with her. I realized that I couldn’t learn anything from books. My past always haunted me and seemed blurred. I was starting to have nightmares now as well. I found it hard to control the directions of my thoughts. Charlie followed a loose button on the ground when he was younger. There was dried blood on Norma’s underwear. Gimpy undercharged the customers and I wanted to find out why. I didn’t trust his actions. He started pocketing the loose change in his pocket. In a way, I was afraid of learning the truth. Once I saw him stealing, I wanted to punch his face. I felt like telling Mr Donner about it. In the past, it was me who was assisting the theft of money, it was just that I didn’t know it. If Mr Donner sacks him, how will he be able to feed his kids? Intelligence isn’t helping.

Professor Nemur said that I shouldn’t be involved. I begged to meet Alice at the café again. I didn’t want her to ignore me anymore and she agreed to meet me. I admitted that I liked Alice right away. She thought that it was inappropriate though. Alice was Miss Kinnian. I wasn’t very good at listening and kept interjecting. I kept persisting and that made her feel awkward. I desperately wanted to be with her. In a way, I was afraid of being rejected. I was in love.

Charlie, you amaze me. In some ways you’re so advanced, and yet when it comes to making a decision, you’re still a child. I can’t decide for you, Charlie. The answer can’t be found in books – or be solved by bringing it to other people…You’ve got to find the answer inside you – feel the right thing to do. Charlie, you’ve got to learn to trust yourself. – Alice

I learned to rely on my intuition. I decided to tell Gimpy the truth one day. Gimpy stormed off when I told him. My studies were going well. I could link a few disciplines together now and I felt much smarter than before. Most of the school talk was too childish for me now. Even economics professors couldn’t think like me. They were not willing to show their ignorance. They were far from intellectual giants. I watched the concert with Alice. I was contemplating putting my arms around her but held back. Surprisingly, I was still behaving like a kid. Then I saw a guy who pulled down his trousers and chased after him furiously. Somehow, I felt embarrassed to be caught together with Alice. I was becoming increasingly sensitive. It was a hallucination. Apparently, I was still sexually retarded. I was fired from my job at the bakery. Apparently, everyone hated me and it appears to them that I was a changed man. I didn’t have to work there anymore. He mentioned that I was also too smart for such a job. I begged him to allow me to stay. Frank spoke to me now.

Because all of a sudden you’re a big shot, a know-it-all, a brain! Now you’re a regular whiz kid, an egghead. Always with a book – always with all the answers. Well, I’ll tell you something. You think you’re better than the rest of us here? Okay, go someplace else. – Frank

I was making them look lousy and they hated it. Everyone signed a petition for me to leave.

But what’s wrong with a person wanting to be more intelligent, to acquire knowledge, and understand himself and the world? – Charlie

If you’d read your Bible, Charlie, you’d know it’s not meant for man to know more than was given to him to know by the Lord in the first place. The fruit of the tree was forbidden to man. – Fanny Birden

I was making them look lousy and they hated it. Everyone signed a petition for me to leave. . She wanted me to be a simple man again. I was a strong believer in Science. Now, I was more alone than ever. I went to Alice’s apartment. Her house was super neat. I didn’t go to the lab for a few days. I was still traumatized by the fact that I was thrown out. Strangely, I couldn’t understand the fear and why I was kicked out. ‘I’m like an animal who’s been locked out of his nice, safe cage.’ Charlie. I had the maturity of a boy. My mum used to whip me when I was younger. She thought I was a dirty animal. I started to sob while hugging Alice.

Progress Report 12. My relationship with Nemur was strained. He referred to me as a lab specimen. Alice and I had a platonic relationship. I had a bad nightmare again. The memories come at weird timings and I can’t control them. I remember my sister behaving like a big baby and not playing with me when I was younger. She wanted a dog from my parents and didn’t want to share it with me. Norma threw a big tantrum. I overheard Norma talking about me in her room to her friend.

He is not my real brother! He’s just a boy we took in because we felt sorry for him. My mamma told me, and she said I can tell everyone now that he’s not really my brother at all. – Norma

I had a bad quarrel with Alice today. I headed down to the Adult Centre to pick her up and it was a bad idea. Alice was teaching a lady at the centre. There were some new students in the school. The other students could recognize me. Alice was annoyed. They wondered why I wasn’t going back to the school. She was upset with my attitude towards others. I didn’t want to receive the crap from others previously. She couldn’t talk to me. She felt stupid beside me and she was worried that she was losing intelligence. I told her too complex stuff which she couldn’t understand. I was too self-absorbed and lacked empathy. Alice wasn’t going to the convention with me. I sort of realized that we were not compatible for one another.

How do you know what I feel? You take liberties with other people’s minds. You can’t tell how I feel or what I feel or why I feel. – Alice

I prowled on the city streets. I happened to meet a lady at Central Park. She eloped and was married to a sailor. However, he was violent and she never saw him again. I brushed my palm against hers. I kissed her and she suggested that we go up to her hotel room. She was pregnant and it wasn’t her husband’s. I commented that she was filthy and that she should be ashamed of herself. Then she started screaming. I ran into the darkness and ended up in a children’s playground. I finally emerged from the park unscathed. Some part of me wanted to be caught by passer-bys in the street.

Progress Report 13. We were about to head to Chicago. I was terrified of being in the air. God was never something I talked about much when I was young. When I was 5 or so, my mum brought me to a doctor who would help me get smart. My mum thought that she could pay so that I could be intelligent. Dad disagreed. We all headed to Dr Guarino’s office. Guarino started to examine a young Charlie. Charlie was restrained to a table and strapped down. He screamed. He placed me inside a big machine to see if I could become smarter. Charlie couldn’t scream because there was a cloth placed in his mouth. Charlie wet his pants. I had to return every few weeks. Charlie hated the voice of his parents quarreling at home. Dad thought that I shouldn’t be changed and that the money should have been devoted to the barber shop instead. Nemur referred to be as a guinea pig and not as a human. I am learning to control resentment and my patience. We had to be shifted to the Independence hotel because of some screwed up arrangements. Nemur was annoyed at the attention I was receiving. Nemur explained the procedure with the other scientist. Apparently there was another paper published on another method of the operation. I was disappointed when Nemur couldn’t understand other languages. They were ignorant in their own fields! It was appalling. I dug further and realized how little he knew. Burt defended Nemur and said that he was trying to make a name for himself. It turns out that it was Nemur’s wife who helped his career a lot and got him his professionship. Burt commented that I lacked tolerance and understanding for others. Was I a genius? Failure would destroy Nemur as he was too old to start again. However, I should not be too impatient with them. I have surpassed them in many aspects.

But still it’s frightening to realize that my fate is in the hands of men who are not the giants I once thought them to be, men who don’t know all the answers. – Charlie Gordon

I was under a huge emotional strain I walked out on the whole thing and flew to New York. A few psychological papers were published. I didn’t like trivial stuff. Algernon and I were the main attractions of the conference. I toyed with the lock on Algernon’s cage. Algernon would have to complete a maze in order to prove that he was smart. Algernon was getting increasingly erratic and sometimes refused to work. The other mice did not have this problem but neither were they as intelligent as him. Such information was withheld from me. Films of my lab tests were now being shown. The audience laughed when they saw how I stupid I looked in the tests. No one considered me a human being. It was Nemur’s turn to speak. I was deeply angry inside. I realized that the results were premature and it would require longer before the results could be presented. Just when it was my turn to speak, I released Algernon. Nemur begged the others to get Algernon. Everyone was on a merry go round chase for the mouse. I managed to find Algernon and I kept him in my pocket, without telling anyone else. The plan was to take off and never return. Initially, I thought of seeing my parents as soon as I could and travel to New York.

Progress Report 14. The press was mad that we escaped. My parents didn’t know where I was. I saw her picture in the newspaper. She had a split personality and I was very confused as to how I was being treated. I didn’t know why I wanted to see mum anymore. Long ago, mum wanted to send me to Warren State Home and I could still remember vividly. She wanted to protect Norma’s development. I was tempted to call Alice but decided against it. I found an apartment near the library. Algernon can drink and watch TV. I wanted to build Algernon a complicated maze. I met Fay Lillman, my neighbor. My neighbor invited me into her apartment. It was like an art studio in a mess. This place was heavily burglared. She wanted to have a beer with me and I agreed to it. There were self-portraits and nude paintings. She later put on some clothing when we started chatting more. I left the house as I couldn’t think I could stay there. Later, I invited her to my place. She suggested we dance. She commented that my place was too neat and that stifled creativity. She started playing on the piano. Later she ventured into the room and saw the maze. Then, she left abruptly, saying she had to meet another date. Everything about her was attractive.

I went to look for Dad, Matt, at a barbershop. Dad always dreamt of being his own boss. Dad liked to defend me when I was younger. I had to remind who I was before he too notice. He trimmed my hair. I recalled the past now. My mum was once again persuading dad to send me to the Warren State Hospital. I didn’t have the courage to tell the story. I felt faint when I realized he didn’t recognize me. He should have seen how different I was now. I left the shop and did not reveal that I was his son.

I added time sequences to Algernon’s maze. However, his behavior was erratic at times. Fay brought a female white mouse to keep him company. I’m glad that Algernon was no longer alone and was with ‘Minnie’. Fay introduced me to a man named Leroy. Later on, I heard noise from her apartment. She was apparently having sex with him in the room. However he made a pass on her. I revealed that I wanted her and she showed me her bosom. I felt her emotional level was right for me. I wasn’t feeling well that night and she admitted she liked me. We started drinking gin. She got me drunk that night. I acted strange when I was drunk. I was all confused and silly and I talked about how I wanted to go to school and be smart. She had the feeling that I had some compulsive disorder. I did act like a little kid when I was high. The Charlie from the past was still with me.

I headed to the cinemas to watch movies alone. I wanted to be with others in the darkness. I spotted a young boy who was a dishwasher but after dropping some dishes, the rest started laughing at him. I begged the others to believe that he was a human being. The boy reminded me of the old Charlie. It was unbelievable that initially I did too join in the laughter. That really hurt

Even a feeble-minded man wants to be like other men…A child may not know how to feed itself, or what to eat, yet it knows hunger. – Charlie Gordon

I wanted to contribute back by working on improved human intelligence. I wanted to tell Alice about my dream to help the other retarded people around. I called Alice. I told her that the old Charlie exists. The emotional problems can’t be solved like intellectual ones. I started crying. The old Charlie didn’t seem to want me to like Alice. I wanted it to be dark, so that I could visualize Fay and yet have Alice. But after a while, I pushed her away and admitted that the old Charlie didn’t allow me to love her. I simply wanted her body but did not love her. I left her apartment and wanted to return to the lab once I was ready. Eventually, I headed home and knocked on Fay’s door. Apparently I was coming on to strongly and she didn’t like it. She didn’t want me to disappoint her this time. When doing it to her, I imagined someone else at the window watching me.

I didn’t know how much time I had left and whether I would remain intelligent forever. I needed to find out the side-effects of the experiment. I grew closer to Fay and stopped wandering on the streets. She was a free spirit who didn’t care about much stuff. Fay was divorced 5 years ago. It was not love we felt but I did liked hanging out with her. I dedicated my first piano concerto to her. She was bright and good-hearted. She was open and trusting. Fay and I kept dancing all the time and visited different clubs. Minnie seemed to be afraid of Algernon after his erratic behavior. Algernon bit Fay today. There was a gash in Minnie’s chest. Algernon’s actions were kid of getting out of control. I was going to call Nemur to find out why.

Progress Report 15. Burt, Nemur and Strauss were all waiting for me. Nemur was grateful that I was back. Burt indicated that Algernon had forgotten most of the complex responses required in the maze. I could have everything that I wanted, but time was the barrier. I probed Nemur to find out what plans he had for me if the experiment failed somehow. I wanted to visit Warren as a visitor. Their plan was to send me to Warren if the experiment failed.

Progress Report 16. This was the day I headed to Warren. I headed and visited the head psychologist, Winslow. There were no closed gates and people would be free to leave. However, most of them can’t survive outside and will return. He showed me how the place was run and how they took care of the boys

Normal kids grow up too soon, stop needing you… go off on their own… forget who loved them and took care of them. But these children need all you can give – all of their lives. It was hard work. – Thelma

There was a huge waiting list of patients trying to enter the mental hospital. There were some who were deaf-mutes and also those that were emotionally unstable. I believed that no one was beyond help.

There are a lot of people who will give money or materials, but very few who will give time and affection. – Winslow

I wanted to visit my mum but first I had to work on my research. I was disappointed with Algernon’s behavior. Fay hated it when I talked about work. My room was getting messier and not as orderly as usual. I was changing. Alice finally met Fay. They liked each other. To Fay, sunbathing could solve the world’s moral problems. Alice was concerned about her influence on my drinking habits. Alice said I could see her and that she might, in a way, be good for me. I went home to make love to Fay. Fay was getting to resentful over my work. I had to cram a lifetime’s worth of research into a few weeks. Memory and the present confuse me and sometimes I don’t know which is which. Fay had a new boyfriend. They were on her couch already. Algernon reacted violently when he didn’t complete the maze. Suddenly he curled up into a ball and didn’t want to move. It was weird and I couldn’t understand such behavior.

If I can find out that out, and if it adds even one jot of information to whatever else has been discovered about mental retardation and the possibility of helping others like myself, I will be satisfied. Whatever happens to me, I will have lived a thousand normal lives by what I might add to others not yet born. – Charlie Gordon

I am now really absorbed in my work. This is pure joy. Fay’s new boyfriend is also a dance instructor at the Stardust Ballroom. I was making little headway in my research. I needed the whole mind to work hard at solving the problem. I headed to Mrs Nemur’s cocktail party. Conversation with others was difficult because they would always hide in their shell. The issue with this kind of research was usually funding. Strauss and Raynor wanted to take this research and make the results permanent. I didn’t really feel I belonged at the party and left. Strauss slammed me for being ungrateful. Nemur wanted to hear what I had to say. I turned from a nice retarded man into an arrogant, anti-social bastard. Everyone thought I was drunk when I spoke

I’ve learned a lot in the past few months, not only about myself, but about life and people, and I’ve discovered that nobody really cares about Charlie Gordon, whether he’s a moron or a genius. So what difference does it make? – Charlie Gordon

The problem, dear professor, is that you wanted someone who could be made intelligent but still be kept in a cage and displayed when necessary to reap the honors you seek. The hitch is that I’m a person. – Charlie Gordon

I’ve learned that intelligence alone doesn’t mean a damned thing. Here in your university, intelligence, education, knowledge, have all become great idols. But I know now there’s one thing you’ve all overlooked: intelligence and education that hasn’t been tempered by human affection isn’t worth a damn. – Charlie Gordon

Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love…And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain. – Charlie Gordon

When I was retarded I had lots of friends. Now I have no one. Of, I know lots of people. Lots and lots of people. But I don’t have any real friends. Not like I used to have in the bakery. Not a friend in the world who means anything to me, and no one I mean anything to. – Charlie Gordon

I saw the old Charlie in the mirror in the toilet. I was not ready to give up my intelligence. Why am I so alone in the world? I headed back to the lab at 4:30am to continue. I wrote a letter to Professor Nemur. I have completed my research on the study of increased intelligence. Algernon has regressed mentally and was suffering from amnesia. ‘Artificially-Induced Intelligence deteriorates at a rate of time directly proportional to the quantity of the increase.’ I knew that I would deteriorate rapidly. Although this would happen, I was still grateful for having improved the knowledge of mankind. I must not panic and should try to recall as much as possible when I’m still intelligent. Alice cried on learning the news. The scientists were working on my paper now. No one was to be blamed for any of this. I didn’t want to see anyone suffer. Professor Nemur says that my results were confirmed. The current science cannot overcome the problem. Time is the key factor. I will not have the time to pursue more research.

I started becoming more forgetful. Algernon passed away 2 days ago. My research was proven right. I buried Algernon and put flowers on his grave. I would see mum tomorrow. I saw Rose three days ago. I spotted her but didn’t walk away. She didn’t seem to recognize me too. She did gasp ‘Charlie!’ After that she entered the house and locked the door. I banged on the glass and wanted to enter the house. I broke into the house. Later she finally came out. I explained the whole experiment that I undergone. She was surprised and wanted to tell everyone that I was normal again. For the first time, she was happy. I needed to go off now. I gave her a scientific report called the Algernon-Gordon Effect. Norma also didn’t recognize her but later was in shock once she knew I was Charlie. She was pleased to learn that I was a genius. Now, Norma was warm and affectionate. She hated me in the past because I was not punished for being slow. Should I be pleased that she was closer to me? Would she be so nice if I were retarded again? Norma didn’t want me to go and clung to me. Rose suddenly grabbed the knife and thought I was trying to hurt Norma. Now, Rose ordered me out of the house. I reluctantly left.

Progress Report 17. My condition was heading downhill. I tried to recall being intelligent again. I am edgy and irritable. I suffered a hallucination when talking to Dr Strauss. I told him therapy would just prolong the inevitable and was a waste of time. I had this strange sensation that old Charlie was coming back. I let the light in. This was the last time I wanted to see Dr Strauss. I found it increasingly difficult to write anything. It took me longer to complete the race. I tried the Rorschach test. It was impossible! I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to do for the test anymore. I told everyone no more tests for me. At that moment, I just wanted to be alone. I picked up Paradise Lost but couldn’t remember what it was about anymore. I could picture myself learning to read like old Charlie. In a fit of anger, I ripped the book apart. Please, God, don’t take it all away. I couldn’t remember where I lived anymore. There is nothing I can do about it.

Alice was in my apartment now. She wanted to see me after she heard I was acting all weird. She wanted to spend time with me. Until I went to Warren, Alice would spend time with me. It felt powerful, something better than love. It was then that I realized how powerful physical love was. We went to a concert together but I couldn’t pay attention. My mind was deteriorating rapidly. I did not understand the scientific paper I wrote. My motor skills were deteriorating. Alice kept cleaning up after me. I kept watching tv. The child was reclaiming my mind. I lost the ability to read German. Alice as gone. I didn’t want her cleaning up my stuff anymore. She admitted that I was still very cold towards her. That’s more to it than just having a high IQ.

I could only write using longhand now. I decided to keep reading stuff I didn’t understand and perhaps that could still help me a little. Fay didn’t understand me anymore. I was lying in bed very often nowadays. Mrs Mooney was worried about me. I have to keep re-reading stuff now. It is very difficult to write. I still placed flowers on Algernon’s grave.

It’s getting chilly out but I still put flowers on Algernon’s grave. Mrs Mooney think I’m silly to put flower on a mouse’s grave but I told her that Algernon was a special mouse. – Charlie Gordon

Mrs Mooney called a doctor to see me. I ran out of the house after he didn’t believe that I was previously a genius. I needed to earn money and wanted to visit the bakery again. Alice came but I didn’t want to let her in.

Mr Donner was very nice when I visited the bakery again. Klaus bullied me and I crapped in my pant. But Joe Carp grabbed him and scolded Klaus and warned him not to touch me again. Joe wanted to tell Donner that he should get fired but I decided to forgive Klaus. Joe and Frank were finally my friends. I tried attending Alice’s class but she was so choked with emotion that she left. I decided to attend Warren Home School again. Looking back, I was glad I learned a lot of stuff in this world and that I discovered my family

Im glad I got a second chanse in life like you said to be smart because I lerned a lot of things that I never even new were in this werld and Im grateful I saw it all even for a little bit. – Charlie Gordon

Anyway I bet Im the frist dumb persen in the world who found out some thing inportent for sience. I did something but I dont remember what. So I gess its like I did it for all the dumb pepul like me all over the werld. – Charlie Gordon

P.S. please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard.


One thought on “Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

  1. Pingback: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes – Lejla Lela

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