Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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Progress Report 5 Summary

On the same day, March 6, Charlie is present during a discussion among Strauss, Nemur, and Burt Seldon. Charlie’s sister, Norma, has been found and has granted permission for the operation. Professor Nemur, however, is hesitant about using Charlie. Strauss states that Charlie is the best candidate of all those tested. Burt adds that Miss Kinnian recommends him as the best of all her pupils at Beekman University, the source for the test subjects. Strauss emphasizes that Charlie has a high level of motivation for a person with a 68 IQ. He explains to Charlie that "motivation" is something that Algernon has as well; for the mouse, the motivation is cheese. Charlie is confused, since he says he did not have cheese that week.

Professor Nemur is worried that raising Charlie’s IQ from such a low level to an extremely high one could seriously harm Charlie. The conversation gets technical, so Charlie tries to dictate the words as he hears them. Using asterisks for words he does not completely catch, Charlie demonstrates that he has some measure of self-monitoring, another key factor in the possible success of the experiment. It is evident from...

(The entire section is 391 words.)