Was the Experiment on Charlie Gordon Worth the Problems Created? An essay based on the book "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes

Essay by sakuya3834High School, 10th gradeA+, March 2004

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Charlie Gordon has gone through many problems in his life that many people may not experience given normal situations. Charlie's problems started off even before he had his operation. After his operation, he faced new and different problems in his life. But was this all really worth it? Even though Charlie's problems escalated after the experiment and in the end the effects did not last, Charlie was better off having had the operation.

Firstly, Charlie had many problems before his operation that were common to those of other mentally challenged people. He didn't have the ability to read or write anything besides basic things, limiting many of the choices he could make in life. He also was not able to comprehend or experience the right emotions at the right times, which when partnered with his low level of intelligence, led to him not fully understanding what was going on around him.

For example, people around Charlie always poked fun at the fact that he was mentally challenged. This most often occurred at his job, where the other workers would often say that someone had pulled a 'Charlie Gordon' when they screwed something up. It wasn't until after his operation that Charlie realized what this really meant. Another one of Charlie's problems, even though he didn't realize it at the time because he didn't have a good long term memory, was that he didn't know where his family was and what they were doing. However, if he would have found his family when he was mentally challenged, they probably wouldn't have supported him much, especially his mother, because that was why he was given up. Positive relationships with family are very important for anyone to have, which is why that is a problem.

After Charlie's operation, many of his...