Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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Progress Report 10 Summary

Charlie’s intelligence grows, including his problem-solving abilities. He devises a new layout of the mixing machines at the bakery, increasing the speed of production. Mr. Donner is impressed, giving him a raise and a bonus. Charlie wants to celebrate with his coworkers, but the men are becoming distant, even afraid of Charlie. Charlie believes that with time they will get used to the changes in him.

He remembers the times when Frank tormented him and Gimpy stood up for him. In one incident, Gimpy wanted to teach Charlie how to make rolls, promising a medal made out of a tin lid. Patiently showing him, Gimpy repeated the steps over and over, but Charlie could not remember. In disappointment, Gimpy told him to go back to his seat. Charlie felt like crying. As he returned to his chair and his comic book, Gimpy quietly gave him the medal anyway. In reflection, Charley sees how kind it was of Gimpy to do this. Previously, Charlie had thought only of the many times his coworkers at the bakery had made fun of him. His increasing intelligence has led him to a level of maturity at which he can also see the good.

As Charlie matures, so do his emotions. Because his fellow workers at the bakery do not want to celebrate his raise with him, he decides he will ask Miss Kinnian. He decides he had better ask Dr. Strauss or Professor Nemur their thoughts on this plan. Dr. Strauss has agreed that Charlie has reached the point where not all of his thoughts should be read. He allows Charlie to keep some of the progress reports private, to be examined only when the final report to the Welberg Foundation, which had funded the grant for the experiment, was due.

Charlie drops by the office to ask the advice of the scientists and overhears them arguing. Used to being treated as invisible, Charlie listens to their conversation. Professor Nemur plans to reveal the results of Charlie’s operation to a convention in Chicago in six weeks. Dr. Strauss believes strongly that this is still too soon, as Charlie is still progressing. Professor Nemur...

(The entire section is 549 words.)