Characterization of Charlie
“Flowers for Algernon” is a short story about a 37 years old man, named Charlie. It ́s written in a first-person narration, which is told through Charlies progress reports, which he writes himself.
Charlie is mentally handicapped, which makes it hard for him to read, write and understand. Charlie goes to a school for retarded adults, because he wants to become smarter.
At the school, his teacher Miss Kinnian recommends him to get a surgery designed to boost his intelligence. After some testing, Charlie gets chosen by the scientist to get the surgery.
When also follow Charlie at work. He works in a factory as a janitor. He believes that his work colleagues are his friends, but because of his low social competence he can ́t see that they are actually bullying him.
After a battery of test, he finally gets the surgery. The test consisted of the raw shok test, a maze where he battle against a mouse called Algernon, and test where they tested his ability to imagine things.
In the beginning he ́s very frustrated because he doesn ́t fells like there is any progress, but after a watching TV at night and Miss Kinnian ́s help, there is a big change.
Suddenly he can spell, use punctuation and understand. But he also starts realizing that his so- called friends have been making fun of him, and that they never were his friends.
Since Charlie changes mentally, there is also a change in the narration. Because the narration is written from Charlies point of view, there is not any insight into the other characters.
Throughout the short story Charlie develops, both in terms inner and outer characterization.