Abstract illustration of a mouse inside a white human head inside a red human head

Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

Start Free Trial

In Progress Report 9 of Flowers for Algernon, why is Charlie ashamed now? Why wasn't he ashamed a couple of weeks ago? In Progress Report 10, what new aspects of Charlie's personality are revealed in this scene with Miss Kinnian?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Progress Report 9, Charlie is ashamed because he realizes the people he thought were his friends, Frank and Joe, have really only wanted to have him around in order to make fun of him. He wasn't ashamed earlier because he didn't have the mental ability to analyze how they were treating him. His sense of shame shows his growing intelligence and ability to see himself as others see him. He becomes conscious of himself in a more sophisticated way.

In Progress Report 10, Charlie asks Miss Kinnian out on a dinner date. We see Charlie developing new aspects of his personality as he begins to see Miss Kinnian as a sexual being and a peer. When she was his night school teacher, Charlie felt she was infinitely superior to him, as a young child might feel with an adult. Now he realizes she is only thirty-four, and they converse as equals. He even lights her cigarette. With his growing intelligence, he is becoming more socially adept.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team