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The Impact of Intelligence Quotation Surgery on Charlie in Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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In 1967 the first ever human heart transplant was performed. This surgery saves thousands of lifes a year. In the novel Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, a 32-year-old mentally retarted man, Charlie Gorden, wants to participate in an intelligence quotation (IQ) surgery. This surgery will raise his intelligence and help him be able to learn. As time goes on Charlie’s IQ gets higher so does his Emotional Quotation (EQ), and Morality Quotation (MQ).

At the beginning of Flowers for Algernon Charlie has an IQ of 68. In progress report 5, March 6 Charlie writes “He actually begged to be used. And that’s true because I wanted to be smart” The quote shows how many mistakes Charlie is making in his writing at the beginning of the book. After Charlie’s surgery on March 7 he writes “I want to go back to work in the bakery and not rite programs progress reports anymore.” In this sentence Charlie corrects his spelling on the word progress. Before the surgery, Charlie couldn’t correct himself on spelling, this sentence is an example of Charlie’s progression. Later on at the end of the book Charlie goes from being smarter than the teachers, back to a mentally retorted man who can’t put sentences together or spell. On October 18 Charlie states “I’m forgetting things I learned recently….the last things learned are the first things forgotten.” Even Charlie knows that his surgery is reversing.

Charlie changes in other ways than being smart, his EQ is another important part of the book. In the beginning, Charlie’s is a sweet, loving, funny man who does not care what people think of him, all he wants is some friends. Charlie says “I just want to be smart like other pupil so I can have lots of friends who like me.” Nevertheless, when Charlie starts to lose his intelligence he acts more and more like a child. When Charlie’s racing mouse , who has had the same surgery as Charlie, Algernon died on September 15 Charlie has lots of emotions. He buries Algernon in his backyard with flowers and tells his friends in the book to put flowers on his grave when they can. On the last progress report November 21 Charlies lastly writes “P.S. please tel prof Nemur not to be such a grouch when pupil laugh at him and he would have more friends. It’s easy to have friends if you let pupil laugh at you. I’m going to have lots of friends where I go.” Charlie is showing lots of sympathy for all of the friends he thinks is leaving behind when he becomes restarted again. Charlie thinks that because he is becoming dumber that he will be a whole different person.

Morality is the difference between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. In Charlie’s case it is both behavior and right or wrong. For example, when Charlie’s co-worker Gimpy was stealing from the bakery they worked at, Charlie didn’t know if he should tell his boss Mr. Donner, or mind his own business. When Charlie gets stuck on his decision he goes to his teacher/lover Miss. Kinnian. She tells him “In some ways you are so advanced, yet when it comes to making a decision, you’re still a child….you’ve got to learn to trust yourself.” This opens Charlie’s eyes to what he has to do. Charlie goes and confronts Gimpy without actually telling him he knows he is stealing. Charlie is differing from the good and bad behaviors of Gimpy and the right and wrong of what he did.

In conclusion, the heart transplant saved many lifes a year just like the surgery saved Charlie from never knowing what it was like to be smart. From the start to the end of the book Charlies’s EQ, MQ, and IQ changed miraculously in all kinds of ways. This made Charlie a better person in the end for he was happy with life after he became dumb again. However for Miss. Kinnian her emotional quotation was a little off.

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The Impact of Intelligence Quotation Surgery on Charlie in Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. (2020, September 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 26, 2021, from
“The Impact of Intelligence Quotation Surgery on Charlie in Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.” GradesFixer, 01 Sept. 2020,
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