Flowers For Algeron Essay, Research Paper
The story “Flowers for Algernon”, by Daniel Keyes, that we read in English was about a mentally retarded person, named Charlie who had an operation to increase his intelligence, but the operation was a failure and Charlie is slow again. He wants to move now so society won t ridicule him for being slow again. Daniel Keyes wrote this short story for good reasons.
Daniel Keyes wrote “Flowers for Angernon” to show people from an outside look on how we treat mentally challenged people. When you treat people as you always do, you don t see how mean or how cruel it really may be. It could just be your personality or the way you were brought up. By him writing a story on a mentally challenged person wanting to become smart to be accepted by society, and be able to be seen as a “normal” person, at any length or means, was to show us, the society, how we treat mentally challenged people. He could possibly have seen a mentally challenged person being treated poorly, or perhaps was related to one and wanted to tell the society it was not right, but put it in a way by which it touched people in their own way, depending on how they interpret the story. In the story, there was a point where Charlie was at a party and they got him drunk, and made him dance with a girl. Charlie had never been with a girl before and didn t know what to do. They were tripping him when he was trying to dance with the girl. Later after the operation when he is smart he says ” people were laughing and making fun of me ” Maybe Daniel Keyes has seen something like this happen before done to someone mentally challenged.
Daniel Keyes point of view of improving intelligence by artificial means, is that he is against it. In the end he told through Charlie in an odd way that he had wished he never would have had the operation because he now people will have seen how he was once mentally challenged, then became smart and then became slower again. He was afraid that society wouldn t accept him. “I dont want Miss. Kinnian to feel sorry for me. Evry body feels sorry at the factery and I dont want that eather so Im going someplace where nobody knows that Charlie Gordon was once a genus and now he cant even reed a book or rite good.” When Charlie went back to work he was confronted by a man who made a rude comment, but a CO-worker who used to make fun of him and set him up to fail stuck up for him. But later Charlie said that he wishes to go to New York to get away from everyone. That is where Daniel Keyes states that he wouldn t want the operation to be done. This is the statement Charlie made: ” Im going someplace where nobody knows that Charlie Gordon was once a genus ” I think that where Daniel Keyes point was made because if he (Charlie) had never had the operation, he wouldn t be trying to get away from society, he would have never known what being a “genius” even meant. Daniel Keyes stated in the story, ” It was evil when Eve listened to the snake and ate from the tree of knowledge. It was evil when she saw that she was naked. If not for that none of us would ever have to grow old and sick and die.” That is where in his own way Daniel Keyes is saying we shouldn t try and play God , and change human flaw. If Charlie never he was slower then the wouldn t want more intelligent. When Charlie first found out that Algernon s intelligence had started disintegrating, Charlie was trying really hard to figure out why and how to stop it. “I ve got to find the reason for the sharp regression in Algernon. I ve got to know if and when it will happen to me.” Charlie had a fear of becoming slow again. He was also trying to show that if in fact we ever do come up with a way to make artificial intelligence in the future, what will we do if it is not a success. In the story he made it kind of clear that the “lab rat”, Charlie, did feel bad and cheated at the fact that his intelligence was but a mere tease and that it was only temporary. “Anyway I bet I m the first dumb person in the world who ever found out something but I dont remember what. So I guess it s like I did it for all the dumb pepul like me.”
In the end I think that through the whole story Daniel Keyes was on the “con” side of the whole idea of an operation to get smart and triple your intelligence, it just didn t come out quite to clearly that, that was his opinion on the subject till the end. Maybe Daniel Keyes wants to teach or show us how to treat mentally retarded people in the present and future.