Ignorance In Charlie Gordon's 'Flowers For Algernon'
“Ignorance is bliss.”
~ Thomas Gray
Realization happens in only two ways; all at once, or slowly; there is but one feeling that you feel. Regret. If one were given the choice of eating the Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge or of living in blissful ignorance, what would they choose? A very curious question in its origin and idea. Thinking too much will delve into the realm of “what if”, rather than pushing that thought away and indulging in the simple pleasures of life instead. Charlie Gordon in “Flowers for Algernon” decides to tempt fate and walk on the fine line between being never understood for levels of intelligence that will never be deluded by common human minds, and being misunderstood and mocked by …show more content…
He is trying too hard, wanting to meet society’s standards even though he appears to be happy when he was oblivious that his “friends” were mocking him. He tries to fit in by wanting to ask his doctors, smart people he knows, on how to think. While this sentence is odd in its statement, it is saddening to learn that an innocent, but with mental retardedness, adult will not be introduced into the realm of “normal” and “smart” people he wishes for. The doctor will probably ignore or laugh off Charlie’s question, based off of the fact that he merely did the operation and left him to think. Which, in itself, is a paradox of Charlie thinking about asking someone else on how to think now that he is suppose to get …show more content…
And I had been laughing at him too.” (Lines 631-633) In this scene, Charlie is at a restaurant, where he witnesses a fellow “dumb” person working as a dishwasher. When the dishwasher drops the plates, everybody laughs at his retardedness. Recognizing the situation, Charlie is horrified to find out that he, too, was laughing at the dishwasher. If he were to never go through with the operation, Charlie would continue to live and work obliviously at the boxing office. Nevertheless, he defends the dishwasher and leaves, embarrassed at his own actions and for the dishwasher’s sad condition.
“Its easy to make frends if you let pepul laff at you. Im going to have lots of frends where I go.(SIC)” (Lines 935-936) Either by ignoring his history or trying to remake it, Charlie is moving away from his home to find a place where nobody recognizes him. Using his own advice, he would rather remain oblivious to the fact that people are mocking him and using him for the butt of their jokes. This is the last progress report made by Charlie, with him asking for those who experimented on him to forgive themselves and continue to live their lives, not to worry about Charlie and regret making him feel hope only to vanquish it. The way the sentences are written at the end tracks the progress of his mental intelligence, with the spelling and grammar just as terrible it was at the beginning of the story, before the operation. While