Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Read the following extract, and let us know your reaction to this text by commenting on this post.

March 21—We had a lot of fun at the bakery today. Joe Carp said hey look where Charlie had his operashun what did they do Charlie put some brains in. I was going to tell him about me getting smart but I remembered Prof Nemur said no. Then Frank Reilly said what did you do Charlie open a door the hard way. That made me laff. Their my frends and they really like me.

Some times somebody will say lookit Frank, or Joe or even Gimpy. He really pulled a Charlie Gordon that Time. I dont know why they said it but they always laff and I laff too. This morning Gimpy hes the head baker and he has a bad foot and he limps he used my name when he shouted at Ernie because Ernie losst a birthday cake. He said Ernie for godsake you trying to be a Charlie Gordon. I dont know why he said that. I never lost any packiges.

April 10—I feel sick. Not like for a doctor, but inside my chest it feels empty. Last night, Joe Carp and Frank Reilly invited me to a party. They got me to dance with Ellen. I feel three times and I couldn’t understand why because no one else was dancing besides Ellen and me. All the time I was tripping because somebody’s foot was always sticking out.

They were all around in a circle watching and laughing at the way we were doing the steps. They laughed harder every time I fell, and I was laughing too because it was so funny. But the last time it happened I didn’t laugh. I picked myself up and Joe pushed me down again.

Then I saw the look on Joe’s face and it gave me a funny feeling in my stomach.

Then I remembered a picture in my mind when I was a kid. The children in the block let me lay with them, hide-and-seek and I was IT. After I counted up to ten over and over on my fingers I went to look for the others. I kept looking until it got cold and dark and I had to go home. I never found them and I never knew why.

What Frank said reminded me. Joe and the rest were all laughing at me. The kids playing hide-and-seek were playing tricks on me and they were laughing at me too.

Now I know what they mean when they say “to pull a Charlie Gordon”. 

Food for Thought 

· How does Charlie feel about his friendships?

· How would you react if you realise your friends are making fun of other people?

For more information on the author and book, click here on Flowers for Algernon.

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