Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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Progress Report 11 Summary

It is May 1, and Charlie asks Miss Kinnian (Alice) out for dinner and a movie. He is obsessed with her closeness, the times when they accidentally touch. He is unsure of himself and how he is supposed to react. He is bothered by the unreality of the movie, that all its conflicts were wrapped up nicely but artificially. He is at the point of being angry, but Miss Kinnian calms him down, pointing out that he is rapidly becoming more analytical. At the end of the evening, Charlie is not sure how he is supposed to act. His awkwardness reveals that he is still emotionally immature despite his now genius-level IQ. They agree that it was probably not a good idea for them to have gone out, and Miss Kinnian prevents Charlie from moving too far physically.

Charlie’s dreams give him material for introspection, especially in regard to women. He remembers seeing his sister naked in the bathroom, confused by their physical differences. Her menstrual blood confused him even more, thinking that she was hurt and terrified that he would be blamed.

At the bakery, he notices that Gimpy is undercharging customers and splitting the difference with them. Knowing this is dishonest, he is unsure what he should do. If he does nothing, he will be complicit in the stealing. If he says something, Gimpy will be fired and it is unlikely that he will easily get another job due to his club foot. He asks Professor Nemur for advice. The scientist tells him it is none of his business and that he should ignore it. Dr. Strauss says that he has a moral obligation to report it. Wanting Alice Kinnian to break the tie, he asks her advice. She tells him that he must decide for himself. He is surprised to realize that he can trust himself. He approaches Gimpy, telling him the situation as if it happened to a friend of his, though Gimpy is aware of what Charlie is saying. Charlie warns him that if...

(The entire section is 508 words.)