Progress Report 7 Summary

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Following the operation, Charlie’s eyes are bandaged for three days. It is not until March 11 that he can write another "progress report" (which Hilda, the nurse, shows him how to spell correctly). He tells of his fear prior to the procedure, of being wheeled into an operating room with tiers of doctors waiting to view the historic surgery. Dr. Strauss tries to calm Charlie, but when his arms and legs are strapped down, his fear increases significantly. After the anesthesia mask is lowered, Charlie calmly goes to sleep.

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When Charlie awakens, he finds that his eyes are bandaged and he cannot remember the surgery at all. Burt monitors Charlie, taking his vital statistics, recording them for “science,” as Charlie says. Burt further explains the importance of the progress reports, which will record what Charlie thinks and feels as the experiment progresses. As Charlie rereads his reports, he cannot understand how they will tell anyone anything. He is looking forward to being able to carry on a conversation with his fellow workers at Donner’s Bakery. He has been watching and listening as they discuss religion, politics, and current events. He hopes that soon he will be able to take part.

Hilda, Charlie’s first nurse, says he is brave to have an operation on his brain, something that she would never allow. She questions the morality of the operation, telling Charlie that if God had wanted him to be smart, He would have made him so. She urges Charlie to pray for forgiveness for letting the doctors operate. Charlie, however,...

(The entire section contains 414 words.)

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