Charlie Gordon's Intellectual Growth

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Intelligence and emotional maturity are not always compatible. This essay will be referring to the retarded character, Charlie Gordon, from the book Flowers for Algernon. This point will be proven by referring to Charlie Gordon’s intellectual growth as well as his emotional growth and how these two aspects are not compatible. In the book Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon is a mentally retarded thirty-two year old who wants to be intelligent more than anything else. Charlie undergoes an operation that stimulates his intellect. As the novel progresses it is clear that Charlie is growing intellectually and that his intelligence exceeds that of Dr Strauss and Professor Nemur “I'm smart now, smarter than Norma, or Uncle Herman, or Matt. I know things even college professors don't know” (Keyes, 1959, 83). Charlie’s intelligence is rapidly growing and he reaches new heights. He learns complicated…show more content…
He comes to the realisation that his ‘friends’ at Donner’s Bakery were victimising him “I, h d a _good time. We played games with me doing a dance on the bar with a lampshade on my head and everyone laffing” (Keyes, 1959, 10). As the novel progresses Charlie’s memory allows him to recall the past. He remembers painful abuse from family and friends and this causes him to become bitter and lonely “This intelligence has driven a wedge between me and all the people I knew and loved, driven me out of the bakery. Now, I'm more alone than ever before” (Keyes, 1959, 34). Memories of Charlie’s mother beating him for sexual impulses causes Charlie to experience sensations of panic when he becomes intimate with Alice Kinnian because he feels that the ‘old’ Charlie is watching him "Something so deep and significant that Charlie inside me is terrified whenever there seems to be any chance of my making love to you." (Keyes, 1959,

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