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Thread: Flowers for Algernon (essay by:tiffany solis) PLEASEEEEE check for any mistakes :)

  1. #1

    Flowers for Algernon (essay by:tiffany solis) PLEASEEEEE check for any mistakes :)

    PLEASE check for any mistakes

    Charlie Gordon is a 32-year-old man with an IQ of 68, but that dosen’t stop him from wanting to learn. Charlie attends classes at the Beekman University Center for Retarded Adults taught by Alice Kinnian. He also works as a janitor and deliveryman for Dornner's Bakery. His uncle Herman got him the job there 17 years ago so that Charlie would not have to be sent to the Warren State home, an institution. Alice thinks that Charlie works very hard and when she hears that Professor Nemur and Doctor Strauss of Beekman University are looking for a human on which they can test a procedure for increasing intelligence, she automatically recommends Charlie.
    Dr. Strauss says Charlie might be the possible candidate for this procedure, then assigns Charlie instructions; Charlie must write down everything he thinks and remembers in “progress reports”. Charlie begins his first “progris riport” on March third; writing that he hopes Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur will choose him for the operation because all he wants more than anything “is to be smart like other pepul so I can have lots of friends who like me.” He also tells us a little bit about himself. The reports Charlie writes are full of spelling errors and minium vocabulary.
    Impressed by Charlie's motivation and determination for wanting to be smart, Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur decide to use Charlie in the experiment! At the laboratory, Charlie takes inkblot personality tests. He also runs mazes against Algernon! The maze gives an electrical shock when Algernon makes a wrong turn, and it rewards him with food when he finishes the maze. “Algernon is a very smart mouse”, says Dr. Strauss. This must be true, because whenever Charlie and Algernon run a race Algernon always wins. “How did that mouse get to be so smart,” Charlie wonders? The answer is that Algernon's IQ has increased by a procedure, the exact procedure that Charlie will be undergoing! Before leaving the laboratory Professor Nemur explains to Charlie that the experiment might fail. Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur forbid him to tell anybody about the operation.
    Writing from his hospital bed the day before the operation, Charlie feels scared. He hopes the operation will make him smart like other people so that he will have many friends and discuss religion and politics with them. Charlie looks forward to the day when he will show his friends at the bakery and his mother that he can be smart like everyone else. Tightly holding his lucky rabbit's foot, his good-luck penny, and his horseshoe, Charlie is transferred to another room where he is going to be operated. Charlie resumes his progress report three days after the operation, when the bandages are finally removed from his eyes. Charlie reports that the operation did not hurt; to his surprise, the doctors even performed it while he was asleep.
    Charlie then has to go back to the laboratory for further testing. Algernon keeps winning the maze races, and Charlie starts getting frustrated and discouraged by his lack of progress. Charlie doesn’t have any more patience and he returns to work at the bakery. When he gets to the bakery his friends and co-workers, Joe Carp and Frank Reilly, make fun of Charlie. But Charlie just thinks his friends are laughing because they like him.
    Professor Nemur presents Charlie with a strange television that is supposed to make Charlie learn and remember. Professor Nemur tells Charlie to turn it on at night and to listen to the sounds as he sleeps. Charlie remembers about his father, his mother, and his sister. He remembers his mom, Rose, would always say there was nothing wrong with him. She would hit him constantly because he couldn’t learn. When Charlie’s sister, Norma was born, his mom changed! She would ignore Charlie to protect Norma from him! Finally, after a big fight Rose got out a knife and threatened to kill Charlie if Matt didn’t take him somewhere! Matt then took Charlie to live with his uncle Herman. Now that Charlie is beginning to remember his past, Charlie must attend therapy sessions with Dr. Strauss. He is very tired because of the strange television that wakes him up at night, that Charlie falls asleep on the therapist's couch.
    On April fool's Day, Joe Carp sets Charlie up for another mean prank at the bakery when he tells him to work the difficult dough mixer. Charlie surprisingly works the dough mixer like an expert. Mr. Donner promotes Charlie from janitor to mixer and gives him a five-dollar raise. Miss Kinnian reads Charlie's progress reports and is outraged to learn how Charlie's coworkers take advantage of him, later she teaches Charlie how to use punctuation and when he quite doesn’t understand he reads a grammar book overnight and his punctuation instantly improves. Soon Charlie improves his progress reports and he beats Algernon at the mazes!
    Back in the lab, Burt Selden tests Charlie on another inkblot Rorschach test, he tells Charlie to describe the images suggested by the inkblots. Charlie accuses Burt of changing the directions to make him look foolish. Charlie believes that Burt told him last time that there were images hidden in the inkblots, and now Burt is saying that there is no particular image, just whatever the test subject happens to think of. Burt and Professor Nemur prove to Charlie that Burt did not change the instructions by playing a tape recording of the original session. Charlie realizes Burt is telling the truth, yet feels he can’t trust Burt completely, so he wishes to keep his progress reports private for a while. Professor Nemur and Dr. Strauss make a deal with Charlie: he can keep his progress reports private as long as he continues to record everything!
    Charlie hangs out in the Beekman University, listening to “college talk” and trying to fit in. He finally understands religion and politics and loves go to the library frequently, reading everything he can get his hands on! Back at the bakery, Charlie makes the machines go faster, and Mr. Donner gives him a fifty-dollar bonus and a ten-dollar raise. The changed in Charlie confuse all of his co-workers. Nobody talks to him and everybody ignores him and he feels lonely. Strongly attracted to his beautiful teacher, Charlie finally asks Alice Kinnian out to a movie and dinner to celebrate his promotion at work. But during the movie he feels very nervous, he tries to express how he feels, but relationships confuse him and he feels rejected when Alice avoids his kiss. Finally, Charlie gives Alice a goodnight kiss on their next date!
    Charlie has truly become a genius! It takes him a few seconds to memorize advanced Calculus and ancient languages. He has surpassed the scientists at Beekman University! He sees college students as childish, as well as Alice Kinnian. Charlie and Alice attend a concert and Charlie again feels not nervous but ill when they try to get intimate. He imagines that someone is watching him. Afraid of Charlie's unexplained intellectual boom, Charlie's agitated coworkers force Mr. Donner to fire him from the bakery. Alice tries to comfort Charlie, but childhood memories don’t allow Charlie from getting physically close to Alice.
    Charlie and the Beekman doctors are on a airplane taking them to the International Psychological Convention in Chicago. But Charlie and Professor Nemur aren’t Seeing Eye to eye, and are getting into little arguments! Charlie informs Professor Nemur about a recently published article in the Hindu Journal of Psychopathology. Professor Nemur is unaware of the new study, since he’s not able to read Hindu and the discovery humiliates Professor Nemur!
    Charlie resumes his progress report after days of abandoning the convention. During the first presentation Charlie listened to the professors as they made him sound like an object being experimented on! People in the audience laughed at the videos that they showed of Charlie before the operation! It made him feel embarrassed and angry, and listening continuously to the professors he saw a mistake in their conclusion to the experiment! Overwhelmed with anger, Charlie opens Algernon’s cage and lets the mouse free, making a big commotion throughout the audience, Charlie scoops Algernon into his pocket and gets on a plane to New York. Newspapers are all talking about how he left the convention and took a plane to New York. He also sees an article of his own family accompanied with a picture of his mother and sister. He’s thinking of going to visit his family, while he still has time!
    Charlie then finds an apartment near Times Square and rents a room. There he meets his next-door neighbor, Fay Lilman. One day he is locked out of his apartment and is hoping if he can use Fay’s fire escape to access his window. The flirty painter invites Charlie to stay. After a few drinks they become friends and she follows Charlie back to his apartment.
    Using the information on the newspaper article, Charlie finds his father’s barber shop in the Bronx and decides to visit him. Charlie remembers his father as a warm person since he always accepted him, unlike his mother. Charlie remembers it has always been his fathers dream to open a barbershop. Charlie enters the barbershop as a customer and after his haircut Charlie waits for his father to recognize him, once he fails Charlie leaves. Alice comes over, but again his subconscious will not allow him to make love to her. His friendship with Fay grows to a sexual relationship, but he doesn’t love her.
    Algernon’s behavior becomes strange and dangerous after he bites Fay, so Charlie decides he has to take Algernon back to the lab. Charlie then has an agreement with the Welberg Foundation to conduct his own research at the Beekman University. The professors are hysterical when Algernon returns to the lab, but Algernon’s forgetfulness and strange behavior confuse them. He has regressed! Charlie then asks Burt to give Algernon to him if he dies, since he realizes that animal test subjects are disposed of when an experiment fails and he does not want Algernon to be disposed of. Algernon’s future makes Charlie think of his own. Professor Nemur tells Charlie that, if he regresses, Charlie would be sent to the Warren State Home.
    Charlie goes on a visit to the Warren State home for a tour. The sight, smell, and sounds of the Warren State home depress him. At the lab Algernon doesn’t want to eat or run mazes. Hearing this, Alice goes and visits Charlie and randomly Fay crashes in on them, but instantly Fay and Alice become friends. Even though Fay and Charlie are in a sexual relationship, he will never tell her the truth about his past! Charlie is working many hours at the lab and its annoying Fay! She then finds a new boyfriend but Charlie doesn’t care, since he is too busy working. When Charlie goes to a cocktail party hosted by Professor Nemur’s wife, he begins to drink heavily. Then Professor Nemur’s wife, Bertha, starts acting very nasty to Charlie, he gets angry and drinks even more. Charlie then reverts back to the old Charlie. Embarrassed and panicked he goes to the bathroom and in the mirror he sees the old Charlie staring back at him!
    Finally Charlie is complete with his research. In a report titled The Algernon-Gordon Effect: A Study of Structure and Function of Increased Intelligence, Charlie explains, “Artificially- induced intelligence deteriorates at a rate of time directly proportional to the quantity of the increase." Shortly after he releases this report, Algernon dies. Charlie buries him in the back yard and places a bunch of wildflowers on the small grave. Before his time runs out he wants to go visit his mother.
    He arrives in Brooklyn, his childhood home, and where his mother still lives. Charlie’s mother, Rose, is stunned when she’s takes notice of her son, so she tries to send him away. Charlie then breaks the glass of the door, cutting his hand and tries to explain to his mother that he has changed, but his mother doesn’t understand. Suddenly, his sister, Norma walks in the door and has a surprisingly smile on her face, happy to see her brother. She begs Charlie to live with them, but Charlie says he can’t. Then he hugs her sister, but when he does his mother changes, she grabs a knife and points it to him. Charlie then runs out of the house terrified and crying.
    Deeply depressed and frustrated, Charlie refuses to run more mazes and he panics when he forgets the meaning of answers to the inkblot Rorschach test. He asks Burt to say goodbye to everyone at the lab for him. Back in his apartment he makes of pile of books he no longer can read and records he no longer enjoys listening to. Alice visits Charlie, and he finally makes love to her, since he feels the barriers between them have finally fallen. Alice promises to stay with Charlie until he tells her to leave. His knowledge deteriorates even more, and Charlie can no longer read foreign languages or even his own scientific report! After an argument with Alice, he asks her to leave. Rapidly deteriorating, Charlie’s punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary worsen.
    Charlie explains the failed operation to Mr. Donner and gets his job at the bakery. His coworkers take pity on him and Charlie is happy to have friends again. Joe Carp, who formerly tormented Charlie, defends him when a new worker makes fun of him. Everyone feels sorry for Charlie, and he cannot stand it. He decides to go away to the Warren State Home. He closes his progress report on November 21st, by telling Miss Kinnian not to feel sorry; he is grateful for all that he learned about his family and himself. Charlie pledges to keep on learning and trying to get smart, and he urges Professor Nemur to stop being such a grouch. Finally, in a postscript, Charlie writes, "P.S. please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard.” PR 17, pg. 216

  2. #2
    TheFairyDogMother kiz_paws's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    Hi, it has been a while since I read this wonderful book, so finding this thread was a pleasure.

    You say that you have written an essay, however, your words are more like a very informative book report as opposed to an essay, where you are writing on and defending an opinion that you have of the book.

    I'll say that your words portray exactly what the book was saying, to my recollection, so well done on that note. But as for essay -- I am not sure that a summarization (this well done) of the book would be considered an essay.

    One last thing -- a bit more space between the paragraphs would render the writing a little easier to read, but that was only my thought.

    Hope you enjoyed that book, I know that I certainly did.

    Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty
    ~Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    (: sprinks's Avatar
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    We read the short story in Lit, and I decided to read the novel as well, and enjoyed it a lot more than the short story. I didn't see anything wrong with what you wrote, although I agree with kizzo, it's not seeming to be much of an essay as such. Or at least not what I've learnt to be an essay.

  4. #4
    Well its a storyboard project/bookreport

  5. #5
    (: sprinks's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    Well in that case it seems to be right then!

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