Short Story Review: Charlie at "The Flowers of Algernon"

Short Story Review: Charlie at "The Flowers of Algernon"

  • Submitted By: turbo
  • Date Submitted: 01/21/2009 4:43 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 966
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 654

In the novel Flowers of Algernon, a central theme is the treatment of the mentally retarded in modern society; this theme is developed in Charlie’s relationship with his family, teacher, his co-workers and with scientific researchers.

Charlie’s life had been a social rollercoaster, loved by few and hated by many. It was horrible that his family had been the ones to disown and hate him and strangers were the ones whom accepted and loved Charlie. “And I hate school! I hate it! I’ll stop studying, and I’ll be a dummy like him. I’ll forget everything I learned and then I’ll be just like him.” She runs out of the room, shrieking: “It’s happening to me already. I’m forgetting everything ... I’m forgetting ... I don’t remember anything I learned anymore! (pg 101)” This quote was evident to the fact that his family his own family did not have sympathy for the state he was in and that they had made fun of him instead of helping him. Norma believes that Charlie is getting special treatment because he is retarded, and she thinks maybe she should act like a “dummy” to get the same attention that Charlie requires. This is also important because it is the first time in the book where Charlie’s disability had been used as an advantage. "...He's normal! He's normal! He'll grow up like other people. Better than others. (pg 99)” This quote was said by Charlie’s mother when she had refused to believe that Charlie had a problem and had no sympathy for his conditions when he could not keep up with his class. These arguments stated are clearly proved with evidence, stating the fact that his family had no sympathy for his condition while strangers cared.

Before Charlie’s Uncle had passed away he had spoken to one of his good friends Mr. Donner and had asked him to take care of Charlie and give him a job if anything were to happen to him and he stuck to his deal and took care of Charlie, proving the fact that strangers had treated Charlie better than his family. Although he...

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