What did you expect? Did you think I'd remain a docile pup, wagging my tail and licking the foot that kicks me? I no longer have to take the kind of crap that people have been handing me all my life.
~ Charlie Gordon

Charlie Gordon is the protagonist of the 1959 novel Flowers for Algernon .


Charlie Gordon was a man with an iq of 59 working at Donner's Bakery in New York City. Gordon always dreamed of becoming intelligent. This dream was actually the dream of Charlie's abusive mother who abandoned Charlie once she realized her attempts were futile. Charlie dreams of being smart and enrolls in classes at the Beekman Center for Retarded Adults, where he learns basic reading and writing skills.

While studying at the Beekman Center, Charlie meets Mrs. Kinnian who recommends him to a group of scientists. The Scientists do neurosurgery on Charlie with the sole intention of boosting his intelligence. Over a nine month period, Charlie's intelligence rapidly grows

As Charlie becomes smarter, he re-establishes many old relationships that he lost. He meets his mother, father, and sister again. Charlie also enters a romantic relationship with his fomer teacher Mrs. Kinnian. 

Charlie begins to notice his intelligence deteriorating, and as a result he signs himself up to move to the Warren State Home, believing it would make things easier for his friends.

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