Abstract illustration of a mouse inside a white human head inside a red human head

Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

Start Free Trial

In Flowers for Algernon, what does Charlie realize about Gimpy and why is he angry?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Progress Report 11, Charlie notices that Gimpy, the head baker, is stealing from Mr. Donner by undercharging customers and splitting the difference with them. Charlie is extremely disturbed by his discovery and struggles to make a decision regarding how to handle the situation. Charlie realizes that Gimpy is stealing from their benevolent boss but does not want to get Gimpy fired.

When Charlie asks Professor Nemur for advice, the professor tells him that it is none of his business and that he should not get involved—Dr. Strauss disagrees, saying that Charlie has a moral obligation to report the incident.

After Alice Kinnian suggests that he make his own decision and handle the situation as he sees best, Charlie finally approaches Gimpy, informs his fellow employee that he is aware of his crime, and cautions him to stop. Gimpy becomes furious at Charlie for interfering with his scheme and tells Charlie that he will be sorry he ever got involved in his business.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Charlie realizes that the head baker Gimpy is stealing from the company. Gimpy is undercharging customers for kickbacks. Charlie does not know what to do, so he goes to Drs. Strauss and Nemur and asks for their advice. Dr. Strauss feels that Charlie should report Gimpy to Mr. Donner--that it is the moral thing to do, but Dr. Nemur does not think Charlie should get in the middle of it. He goes on to say that before Charlie's surgery, Charlie was nothing more than "an inanimate object"  (Keyes 21), which takes away all accountability for him. This enrages Charlie. He feels that Dr. Nemur does not understand that even though he might have been mentally disabled, he still had feelings and thoughts like every other person. In the end Charlie asks Alice for her thoughts, and she tells him that his decision is inside himself. For the first time, Charlie realizes that he can make up his own mind. He talks to Gimpy and gives him a chance to reform his ways. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial