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Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

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In Flowers for Algernon, Dr.Strauss gives Charlie ______ to ______? It's a fill in the blank.  

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Dr. Strauss gives Charlie "some pink pills" to "make (him) sleep good" (March 29).

When Dr. Strauss gives Charlie the pills, it is about two and a half weeks after his operation.  Charlie is just becoming aware that he is "thinking and remembering" more, and although he says he doesn't really feel different, the he is so excited that he can't sleep.  Dr. Strauss gives Charlie the pills so that he can sleep; it is important that Charlie gets enough sleep "because thats when most of the changes happin in (his) brane" (March 29).

After Charlie returns home from the hospital, Professor Nemur gives him "a mashine that werks like TV...it talks and makes picturs and (Charlie has) to tern it on just before (he) go(es) to sleep".  The purpose of the machine is to stimulate Charlie's subconscious.  Charlie does not like the machine, and does not understand how it will help him get smarter.  The noise keeps him up at night, and when Dr. Strauss shows him how to keep the sound low so he can actually sleep, Charlie begins to have vivid and disturbing dreams. 

The memories that are evoked by this technique help Charlie's mind grow as his capacity for understanding increases.  Although the change is slow, Charlie is "getting smarter all the time".  As Dr. Strauss explains, he doesn't "notise it for a while like (he doesn't) notise how the hour hand on a clock moves...the changes...are happining so slo (that he) cant tell".  The doctors, however, can follow Charlie's growth "from the tests and the way (he) act(s) and talk(s) and (his) progress reports" (March 24).


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