- Term Papers and Free Essays

Flowers For Algernon (Persuasive)

Essay by   •  November 29, 2010  •  1,346 Words (6 Pages)  •  3,324 Views

Essay Preview: Flowers For Algernon (Persuasive)

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6

Society has become a shallow place. If an individual does not fit into societies form of the normal person then they are treated differently. But does society treat those who are different in a negative or positive way? In the novel Flowers for Algernon, the author Daniel Keyes shows an in depth look at the treatment of individuals in today's society. Firstly society tends to discriminate against those whose IQ does not fit into the norms of our society. The physically handicapped in today's world are not considered to be "equal" as those who fit into the normal physical appearance, Keyes portrays this through Charlie's thoughts while in the cafй. Although animals are not technically humans society treats them in ways which no human would wish to be treated, animals have "feelings" just like humans and do not deserve to be tormented just because they cannot talk. In today's society those that do not fall into the norm category are treated in a negative way. In the novel Flowers for Algernon Keyes shows the treatment of different individuals in an intriguing and individual way.

Daniel Keyes shows how negatively those with an abnormally low or high IQ are treated differently in society. Society tends to think that people with an abnormally low IQ and that are considered to be mentally challenged do not have feelings because they cannot comprehend what they are being told. People take advantage of those of low intelligence and use them for their personal enjoyment "They gave me lots of drinks and Joe said Charlie is a card when hes potted. I think that means he likes me. We have some good times but I cannot

wait to be smart like my bestfriends Joe Carp and Frank Reilly."(Keyes 30). This quote shows how Charlie's "friends" used and manipulated him for their personal enjoyment and made Charlie believe that they were his good friends. As Charlie's intelligence increases he thinks that he will be more liked the higher his intelligence climbs, but later Charlie discovers that whether you are of lower intelligence then most of the population or of higher intelligence you still will not quite fit in. "I've discovered that no one really cares for Charlie Gordon whether he is a moron or a genius. (Keyes 172) Charlie's relationship with Alice also shows how whether he is of extreme low extreme high intellect he still cannot communicate with her the way he needs to. " I'm just as far away from Alice with an I.Q of 185 then when I had an IQ of 70" (Keyes 88). In today's society if a persons thoughts slightly differ from those of the majority of the population then they will be scrutinized and shunned from the others. People are not willing to look at an idea through a different perspective and this is shown in Flowers For Algernon, when Charlie discovers the fault in Dr. Nemur's experiment and confronts him about it, Dr. Nemur treats him like the old Charlie who is to mentally challenged to be correct. It is repeated numerous times during the novel that Charlie was "created" by the experiment and was not a "human being" because of his below 100 IQ before the operation. "I'm a human being, a person- with parents and memories and a history- and I was before you ever wheeled me into that operating room." (Keyes 112). Society needs to learn that even those who are different then most of us still are humans and have feelings and they deserve to be treated they way we would want to be treated.

The Physically handicapped are maltreated in today's society. Although the teasing and maliciousness is behind more closed doors it still frequently occurs in our modern society. The physically handicapped can comprehend everything that is being said and therefore people do not torment them in such ways as they do to the mentally challenged. Keyes makes this point in Flowers For Algernon when Charlie makes this realization in the cafe when they mentally challenged boy drops the tray of dishes and everyone in the restaurant taunts him. "How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibility, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes- how such people think nothing of abusing a man born with low intelligence." (Keyes 139). This quote depicts how if someone can not comprehend how you are mocking them then they do not deserve to be treated as human beings. Although some people have physical disabilities they still have feeling and can comprehend everything you are saying, they have the same complexity of mind as the average person and sometimes even more so. Just because they may look different, doesn't mean that they are different, and society should respect that.

Those who are mentally challenged do not understand how they are



Download as:   txt (7.7 Kb)   pdf (97.8 Kb)   docx (11.1 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 11). Flowers For Algernon (Persuasive). Retrieved 11, 2010, from

"Flowers For Algernon (Persuasive)" 11 2010. 2010. 11 2010 <>.

"Flowers For Algernon (Persuasive).", 11 2010. Web. 11 2010. <>.

"Flowers For Algernon (Persuasive)." 11, 2010. Accessed 11, 2010.