What is the operation meant to do for Charlie?In the story Flowers for Algernon, what is the operation supposed to do for Charlie?

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grammargator eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon is a mentally challenged adult who works as a janitor in a factory. He knows that he is "dumb" and wants desperately to be like everyone else so he people will like him.

Miss Kinnian, his night school teacher, recommends him for an experimental procedure that is intended to triple his intelligence from 68 to over 200. And it works, briefly. Ironically, however, Charlie is then lonelier than ever. He is definitely not like everyone else; rather, he is so smart that no one can understand him.

When Algernon the mouse begins to regress, Charlie knows that it is only a matter of time before he, too, will lose his super intelligence. Although it is tragic to read Charlie's journal entries as he regresses, he is able to finally know who his true friends are when Frank and Joe, his "buddies" from the factory, come to his defense when other people make fun of him.

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Flowers for Algernon

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