In Flowers for Algernon, what is the operation meant to do for the main character, Charlie?

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The goal of the operation is, essentially, to make Charlie smarter.  The idealistic goal is to test Charlie to see if it's possible to reverse the effects of retardation.  The scientists have been testing out various procedures on mice and their hope is that the same procedure will transfer onto humans, erasing a condition that has affected society forever.

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