Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon Summary and Analysis of Progress Report 1


Charlie is told by the neurosurgeon Dr. Strauss to begin writing down everything that happens in his life from now on. This is the beginning of the tests the researchers perform on Charlie, before he undergoes the operation. Charlie tells readers details about his life: he is 32 years old, works in Donner’s Bakery, and takes classes in the center for mentally disabled adults.


The title and the writing of this first progress report or “diary entry” are written with poor grammar, essentially no punctuation, and misspelled words. Despite the state of the language and writing of this entry, Charlie Gordon actually shows a sense of unexpected self-awareness. He says that he doesn’t “no why” Dr. Strauss requires him to write down everything that happens, “but he says its importint so they will see if they can use me. I hope they use me becaus Miss Kinnian says mabye they can make me smart” (1). Before he signs his name “yrs truly Charlie Gordon,” he recognizes, furthermore, that “I cant think anymor because I have nothing to rite” (1).