At the end of "Flowers for Algernon," does Charlie feel better or worse about himself?

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sullymonster's profile pic

sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Charlie feels even better about himself than he did before the surgery.  Not because he had intelligence, but because he is able to understand others.  He has learned forgiveness, and he has learned that all people face troubles.  The theme here is that intelligence is not vital to a happy life.  Love and personal connections with others are what drive people and make them happy.  Here are Charlie's own words on the subject:

"intelligence and education isn't worth a damn ... all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love."

pmiranda2857's profile pic

pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Even though, at the end of the story, Charlie loses his new found intelligence, he retains a healthy sense of self-worth.

"Even after Charlie returns to his previous subnormal level of intelligence, he has learned to be understanding of the failings of others because they are "not so smart like you once thot they were." Although the experiment has failed, Charlie Gordon has not."

blahflippinblah2012's profile pic

blahflippinblah2012 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

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He feels better about himself at the ens but before the end is when he feels worse.

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