`` Flowers For Algernon `` By Daniel Keyes Essay

1162 Words Jun 6th, 2016 5 Pages
People have a psychologically tendency to mistreat those who do not conform to social standards. Daniel Keyes’ novel, Flowers for Algernon, explores this theme, mainly through its central character: Charlie Gordon, a mentally disabled man who undergoes experimental brain surgery, dramatically increasing his intelligence to that of a genius. However, towards the end of the novel his intelligence regresses back to its original level. It is notable that Charlie experiences mistreatment before his surgery, when he has remarkably low intelligence, but also after his surgery, when he has remarkably high intelligence, as in both cases he abberates from social norms. The novel shows that in our society, people who behave differently than the status quo are treated with fear, contempt, and ignorance. Throughout the novel, Charlie is feared by others as a result his psychological problems and scorned because he does not fulfill societal expectations. Furthermore, because he challenges social norms, including Charlie encounters ignorance from those around him. Charlie’s mental retardation, surgery, and subsequent brilliance cause people to subject him to many forms of emotional mistreatment, such as unjustified fear.
Throughout the novel, people show fear towards Charlie as a result of his psychological abnormalities. Charlie’s mother fears that he will sexually abuse his sister because of his mental disability. She shows this fear even years after the end of Charlie’s childhood when…

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