Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon book cover
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Progress Report 4 Summary

On March 6, Charlie reports that he returned to the lab for more tests. The lab tester tells Charlie that he is going to take a “Thematic Apperception Test.” Charlie asks her how to spell it for his report, which shows that even before the operation, Charlie is “trying hard” to be smart. His focus is now on doing the “right” things in order to be viewed as a fitting candidate.

In the Thematic Apperception Test, Charlie is shown pictures of people. Initially, Charlie thinks this test will be easier than the Rorschach Test because he can actually see what is in the picture, unlike in the inkblots. The tester tells him that he must make up a story about the people in the picture, but Charlie refuses, believing that “telling stories” is the same as lying. He offers to tell her stories of his family, since he knows they are real, but the tester wants him to tell stories about the people in the pictures. When Charlie refuses, she angrily puts the pictures away. Charlie declares his indifference, hiding the fact that he too is becoming frustrated with his failure.

Charlie then meets with "Burt Seldon," making note of the name that he could not remember the day before. Burt gives Charlie a sheet of paper containing a maze (or as Charlie thinks, “amazed”), telling him to draw a line from start to finish. Charlie is unable to accomplish this, so after numerous tries, Burt takes him to the animal testing center. He shows Charlie a maze on a wooden table and introduces Charlie to Algernon, a mouse who has had the operation that...

(The entire section is 412 words.)