What does Charlie think of Dr. Nemur and Dr. Strauss on May 15 in Flowers for Algernon?Be specific.

1 Answer | Add Yours

dymatsuoka's profile pic

dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

On May 15, Charlie does not actually mention Dr. Nemur and Dr. Strauss specifically, but her does talk about other professors at the university, and it might be inferred that, if he thought about it, he would most likely feel the same way about Nemur and Strauss as he does about them. Charlie is revelling in his newfound mental capability, but his rapidly growing intelligence is not tempered with an equally rapid growth in sensitivity and understanding of others. Charlie has tried to discuss issues in economics, American literature, social studies, and psychology with various professors in those fields, and is dismayed and a little scornful to realize how narrow their knowledge is. For example, in trying to discourse on the "moral aspects of the military blockade as a weapon in times of peace" with an economics professor, Charlie is rebuffed when the professor finally must admit that, as the topic is "outside his area of specialization," he knows little about it. With a touch of arrogance, Charlie notes that he had been "foolish" to "ever have thought that professors were intellectual giants." He realizes that they are simply people, who are "afraid to reveal the narrowness of their knowledge."

The fact that Charlie's perception on Dr. Nemur and Dr. Strauss is changing as well is confirmed a couple of weeks later, in his writings on June 5. Charlie reports that his relationship to Nemur "is becoming increasingly strained." He resents the professor's "constant references to (Charlie) as a laboratory specimen," making him feel that "before the experiment (he) was not really a human being." Charlie also mentions that he is taking Dr. Strauss' advice to try "to speak and write simply and directly," as his burgeoning mental capacity is growing beyond the ability of those around him to the point that he can no longer be undertood. It is significant that Charlie now has his own opinions, and considers himself equal, or even, at times, farĀ better than Dr. Nemur and Dr. Strauss intellectually. Instead of unquestioningly accepting everything they say and do, he now criticizes them and dismisses them in his mind when he does not agree with their views, as in the case of Dr. Nemur, or considers what they have to say and chooses whether or not to comply, as is the case with Dr. Strauss.

We’ve answered 318,925 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question