Charlie initially feels a little disappointed after his operation. He was expecting that this potentially ground-breaking new medical procedure would send his IQ into the stratosphere. But nothing seems to have changed, at least not yet. Because fairly soon, Charlie will come to see the benefits of this radical neurological experiment.
Not long after the operation, Charlie starts to experience a sudden, rapid increase in his overall level of intelligence. Before long, he's learned to read, and uses that newfound skill to devour any book that he can lay his hands on. He can also outrun Algernon the mouse, another of the experiment's guinea pigs. This gives him no small sense of satisfaction, not least because he's always been rather jealous of the little mouse.
Unfortunately, Charlie's increased intelligence has made him on an object of suspicion at work. Charlie's coworkers feel threatened by Charlie's sudden increase in brain power and gang up on him, eventually getting him fired from his job at the bakery.