In what progress report did Charlie get drunk and start blushing in Flowers for Algernon?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Charlie recounts how he got drunk and started to blush in the progress report written on April 10.

On that date, Charlie writes about going out with Joe Carp and Frank Reilly to a party the night before.  Charlie remembered "how sick (he) got the last time (he) drank too much", so he told Joe that he didn't want to drink anything.  Despite Charlie's expressed wishes, Joe spiked his Coke.  Joe got Charlie to dance with a girl named Ellen, and everyone laughed uproariously as they took turns tripping the Charlie, who was by now quite intoxicated, as he danced.  Ellen then gave Charlie an apple and told him to bite into it, but it turned out to be a fake.  Everyone had a great time at Charlie's expense, making fun of how "dumb" he was.

Thinking back, Charlie remembers that someone had commented that he was blushing.  Before his operation, when he had been made a fool of to entertain the others, Charlie had not really realized what was going on, and thought it was all great fun (March 28).  This time, however, he was embarrassed; he 'felt naked...(and) wanted to hide (him)self so they wouldn't see".  The fact that Charlie felt this way and blushed is significant because it shows that his understanding of social nuances is developing.  He was ashamed because the others were treating him cruelly and laughing at him; he "never knew before that Joe and Frank and the others liked to have (him) around just to make fun of (him)" (April 10).

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Flowers for Algernon

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