Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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Progress Report 1 Summary

Charlie Gordon begins the book on March 3 with a short introduction, the first of many “Progress Reports” that he writes for Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur. Charlie states that he is thirty-two years old, will turn thirty-three next month, and is currently employed at Donner’s Bakery where he earns eleven dollars a week as a janitor. Although he has an IQ of only 68, he is functional enough to live independently and to attend classes three times a week at the Beekman University Center for Retarded Adults. As a student there, he attracts the attention of Strauss and Nemur, who are interested in the field of neuroscience. His teacher, Miss Kinnian, helps explain the importance of writing the progress reports. Strauss and Nemur are considering Charlie for a surgical and training program that will greatly increase his intelligence, thus “curing” him of his mental handicap. Because Charlie wants to “be smart,” he agrees to do his best, though he is insecure about his writing ability. Miss Kinnian...

(The entire section is 340 words.)