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Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

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In Flowers for Algernon, why do the researchers use a team of people to work with charlie? What does each person contribute?

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The researchers each have different specialities. The team consists of Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemor and Burt Selden, a graduate assistant. Alice Kinnian is Charlie's teacher. She recommended Charlie for the study and although not on the research team per se, she helps Charlie out as he copes with his newfound intelligence. Charlie later falls in love with her. Professor Nemor is the head of the study and is responsible for having obtained the grant from the corporation funding the research. Dr. Strauss takes care of Charlie's physical and medical needs, acting as his psychiatrist as the study progresses. He gives Charlie therapy, whereas Nemor is more of a researcher, as is Burt. Of all the people on the team, Burt seems to genuinely care for Charlie and Algernon. Professor Nemur is under a lot of stress and must show results to justify the grant. Plus, he has a pushy wife who was responsible for obtaining his professorship for him, so he has to produce in order to satisify his rich wife and her family as well.

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