Flowers for Algernon | Teen Ink

Flowers for Algernon

December 8, 2018
By BumpyTheCat BRONZE, Los Angeles, California
BumpyTheCat BRONZE, Los Angeles, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“Everything comes at a price… The question you have to ask yourself is, what price you are willing to pay” -Paullina Simons. In Charlie Gordon's case from the story “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keys, I believe that the price Charlie payed for the operation was a fair one because if he hadn’t had the operation he wouldn’t have been able to experience things that he did because of the operation. The operation benefited Charlie’s life because if he hadn’t had the operation then he would have never have experienced many feelings or also .

I believe that if Charlie hadn’t had the operation he wouldn’t have been able to experience things that made his life experience much richer. Firstly, after the operation to triple Charlie’s IQ, he realizes many things about the world. Earlier he was oblivious to how his friends were using him but afterwards he figures out that they were just using him. This revelation is beneficial because when he sees people ridiculing the bus boy who like him was unaware that he was being laughed at, he feels empathy for the first time. Without the operation he never would have been able to feel that way for anyone. In the note he writes at the end of the story he shows great wisdom about his situation when he says that you should let people laugh at you because then you will make more friends. He learns great wisdom which he still keeps even after he has lost his IQ. Secondly, when he was smart he also got to experience being widely known and recognized in the scientific community and writing a scientific paper about his condition. Getting to be famous and smart boosted his self confidence, having that good aspect to look on when he was lonely probably helped him get through his loneliness and it gave him a good memory to look back on after he lost his intelligence. Even if the memory was foggy after his mental decrease Charlie wrote that he could still remember the feeling accomplishment he got from writing his paper which I believe was the highlight of his experience.

Even though the operation was valuable to his life experience some believe that it was not beneficial at all because of how lonely he was because of the experiment. During that time he was depressed about having nobody to talk to. Every time he had a social interaction nobody was able to understand what he was talking about because it was too intellectual. This is wrong because even though it is indisputable that many bad things happened to Charlie because of the operation most of the bad things had good things consequences. For example when Charlie is socially isolated he learns about empathy when he sees a restaurant employee being treated similarly to him before the operation and he learns about love because of his dinner with Mrs. Kinnian. His loneliness causes him to feel things he had never felt before and wouldn’t have been able to if he hadn’t had the operation.

After the experiment he did not seem regretful he seemed satisfied and full of hope about the future. The experiment was fulfilling to his life experience because he got to have more opportunities to experience new things. What this story reveals is that everything in life comes with a price, but some prices are worth paying.

The author's comments:

It's about the book Flowers For Algernon (not exaclty a movie or TV show, but I thought it fit the category better than any other)

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