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Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

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In Daniel Keyes' novel, Flowers for Algernon, why is Charlie excited just before the surgery?

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Charlie, in Daniel Keyes's novel, Flowers for Algernon, is excited prior to the operation for two reasons. First, Charlie wants to get smarter. He is mentally challenged, with an IQ of only 68. However, unlike many people, he is motivated and easy to get along with. Charlie also takes night classes at a local college to attempt to learn. The idea of getting smarter greatly appeals to Charlie.

However, Charlie also is excited about the surgery because of the guy he works for: Gimpy. Gimpy is Charlie's supervisor at his job, and Charlie thinks Gimpy is his friend, even though the other man laughs at Charlie and gets angry and aggravated with him. Charlie wonders what Gimpy will think and how he will react when (and if) Charlie gets smarter. (There is some foreshadowing here.)

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