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Flowers for Algernon is about a 32 year old retardate named Charlie Gordon.

Abandoned by his family years ago, he works at Donner’s bakery in New York City and lives in an apartment on his own. He attends night classes at Beekman College’s Center for Retarded Adults. There he meets Alice Kinnian, the teacher. She recommends Charlie to Professor Nemur and Doctor Strauss for their experimental surgery. The surgery is designed to make people smarter and increase their IQ. Charlie gets chosen for the procedure because of his desire to be like everyone else, instead of a moron as everyone so eloquently labels him. After the procedure, his intelligence slowly increases without his awareness. He starts reading more advanced books and learns how to write properly. Charlie even surprised everyone when he knew how to work the dough mixer at the bakery. Lost childhood memories were also starting to unfold. He remembered his mother, father, and his sister, Norma. His mother often hit him whenever he wet his pants or didn’t do what he was told because he didn’t understand. He was also abused due to the fact that he wasn’t “normal”. Charlie’s mother, Rose, took her son to many doctors to attempt to make him smarter. Charlie only agreed to it to please his mother, since she seemingly nearly despised him. He was abused for any sexual activities, such as watching Norma shower through the keyhole; even though he didn’t comprehend what was going on. But now with his newly found IQ, Charlie soon finds himself falling in love with Alice, understanding every bit of it. He goes to the movies with her and often cries in her arms with personal troubles. Alice suggests that they keep their relationship professional but Charlie never stops trying nonetheless. He goes to her apartment to ask for help when he discovered that his coworker, Gimpy, had been using him to steal from the bakery for several years. Charlie wanted to tell Mr. Donner but didn’t want Gimpy to hate him. Al ice, not wanting to decide for Charlie, advised him to do what his heart told him to. He soon realizes that he can solve his own problems and goes to talk to Gimpy directly. Gimpy threatens Charlie to stay out of his business so Charlie promises not to say anything to Mr. Donner if Gimpy will stop stealing. Sure enough, it worked; however, Charlie is fired a short while afterwards because the other workers are afraid of his sudden increase of intelligence. Mr. Donner claims that Charlie no longer needs the job. When the scientists at the lab found out, they decided to start paying Charlie for coming into the lab and doing the tests. The tests usually consisted of Rorschachs and maze races with a white lab rat named Algernon, who already had the operation performed on him months before Charlie. Few weeks later, Charlie and Algernon are taken to Chicago with a scientific convention as the main attraction. Charlie becomes agitated at Nemur for claiming her created him, as if Charlie was a mere lab animal before the surgery. At the convention, Charlie also discovers that his intelligence has surpassed that of the men who made him that way. Furiated at Nemur and Strauss for working beyond their means and their inability to recognize him as a human, Charlie releases Algernon from his cage during Nemur’ s presentation. Charlie and Algernon, the two star exhibits, make an escape while the whole room scurries around frantically, trying to find the intelligent white mouse. Charlie pays his hotel fees and heads back to New York. He then moves into another apartment and meets Fay, a free-spirited artist living next door. Charlie and Fay maintain a sexual relationship until Charlie returns to the lab. He conducts his own experiment, which he becomes too absorbed in, causing him to drift away from Fay. During his research, he finds that Algernon’s intelligence was detoriating. He doesn’t finish the maze quite as fast as he used to or he doesn’t bother finishing it at all. His behavior was rather erratic, often throwing himself violently agains t the walls of the maze. Algernon eventually dies in his cage, on his side with arms and legs stretched out like he was running in his sleep. Charlie takes Algernon’s body and puts him in a shoebox, burying him in the backyard. Terrified that the same fate will happe n to him, Charlie decides to go visit his mother. At first she was afraid of him, running inside at the sight of his face. Charlie thumped on the door as hard as he could. Eventually the glass shattered and his hand was covered in blood, but he didn’t care. “Let me in, I want to talk to you!” he kept exclaiming. The door broke off its hinges as Charlie came stumbling down with it. When Ro se finally calmed down, Charlie explained his accomplishments. His mother was surprisingly proud of him for once and his sister was more than delighted to see him after all those years. As Norma was crying in Charlie’s arms, saying how hard it had been without him, Rose suddenly had a flashback. She remembered why she sent him away; for looking at his sister with thoughts of sex. Seeing the two siblings hug, Rose assumes they are doing something obscene. She grabs a knife from the kitchen and threatens Charlie to get out. As he leaves crying, he sees the young Charlie staring at him, his face pressed against the window pane. He returns to the lab to continue his research and finds the error in Nemur’s experiment. His intelligence will soon disappear just as fast as it came. Before he became retarded again, Alice wanted to continue their relationship with the little time they had left. They spend a brief amount of time together until the old Charlie was on the precipice of returning. After that, all Charlie did was watch TV day and night. He was starting to fall behind on the rent so he hot his job back at the bakery. Everyone was nicer to him than ever before. Charlie relizes they only feel sorry for him so he says his last goodbyes and checks himself into the Warren Home for retardates.