Flowers for Algernon Progress Report 13

Flowers for Algernon |

Progress Report xiii | Summary


Charlie Gordon reports on the psychological conference he attends in Chicago with Professor Nemur, Dr. Strauss, and Burt. Being strapped in on the plane triggers a memory from babyhood. He sees himself as a boy of about five going to a doctor with his parents to brand him “normal.” The physician tells his parents to exit the room, straps Charlie to a table, gags him with a textile, and turns on a loud machine. Charlie panics, soiling himself. Afterward, he recalls, the doctor was friendly to Charlie, and his parents fought near the cost of the treatment. Charlie realizes that while his mother stopped trying to change him after she saw that Norma was normal, he has never stopped trying to earn her beloved by being “smart” or at least non subnormal.

When they arrive at the hotel earlier the conference, Nemur begins bragging well-nigh his work. Charlie asks him nigh a contempo commodity past an Indian scientist but to discover Nemur is unaware of the article because he cannot read the linguistic communication. Nemur becomes angry, and Strauss explains to Charlie, “y’all’re making him feel inferior and he can’t take it.” Charlie is frightened to learn that both Nemur and Strauss are “ignorant of whole areas of their ain fields.” He sees them as frauds, “pretending to be able to bring lite into the darkness.” Burt, nevertheless, says Charlie is impatient and lacks tolerance.

During the conference presentation, Charlie feels similar a sideshow human action along with Algernon, who is next to him in a cage. When Burt presents his findings about Algernon, Charlie learns that sometimes Algernon refuses to run the maze and throws himself against its sides. Charlie is not aware he had been filmed doing the races with Algernon, tapes of which are played for the audition; they express mirth at Charlie’s expression when he receives each electric shock. When Nemur proclaims, “Information technology might exist said that Charlie Gordon did not actually exist before this experiment,” Charlie realizes that Nemur and Strauss have fabricated a mistake. Their findings are premature; the results might not last. He notes, ominously, “I may not have all the time I thought I had.”

It occurs to Charlie how funny it would exist to see them all scurrying to find Algernon if he opened the muzzle. He believes Algernon knows he is thinking about this. As Nemur ends his talk, Charlie opens the door of Algernon’southward cage and he escapes. Charlie finds Algernon staring at himself in a bath mirror, puts him in his pocket, and gets on a plane back to New York with the realization that he should at least detect his parents while he can.


This written report reveals the crisis that will turn Charlie Gordon’south journey from triumphant to tragic. Information technology is Charlie’s very genius that reveals what the other scientists don’t see. There is an error in the study; Algernon’due south erratic behavior is a alert sign. Professor Nemur and Dr. Strauss should have taken more fourth dimension to study the surgery’s long-term effects.

Readers larn Charlie notwithstanding wants his mother’south blessing and love; this desire has fueled his journey to be smarter. Fifty-fifty when he surpasses his goal and becomes a genius, what he nigh wants to do—while he nonetheless has time—is find his parents and find himself as he truly is.

Daniel Keyes reveals more about the character of Algernon. He is not only a compliant laboratory mouse. He has exhibited irregular behaviors, sometimes refusing to perform the task of the maze, even though his food is merely given if he completes the maze. He seems to be in distress when he throws his body confronting the walls of the maze at times. His increased intelligence has given him an understanding across navigating a maze, and he seems to exist trying to process this equally he stares at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. Charlie seems to believe Algernon even understands language when he instructs the mouse, every bit he puts him into his pocket, “stay in at that place quietly until I tell you.” Algernon peeks out to wait around simply when Charlie pats his pocket afterwards they are safely in Charlie’s room, equally if to confirm his ability to communicate.

Charlie continues to feel objectified, a feeling amplified past his placement at the conference next to Algernon, with whom he is equated in the talk. He wishes Nemur would expect at him and run into a man existence.

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