Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon Summary and Analysis of Progress Report 3


Charlie talks with Professor Nemur and Dr. Strauss about the Rorschach test and about his classes at the Beekman School for Retarded Adults; they tell him not to worry about the test, and ask him why he started to go to the school. Charlie cannot remember when he went or how he heard about the school, but he expresses a strong desire to become smart. He identifies as a hard worker, something which his teacher Miss Kinnian recognized. She thus recommended him as a candidate to the researchers. Professor Nemur tells Charlie that they are not sure how the operation will work because Charlie will be the first human subject.


This scene takes place on March 5. This progress report reveals more of the premise behind the scientific research setup: Charlie is being considered for an operation which will increase his intelligence. This is why they have asked him to document his thoughts and life, as well as tested his current level of intelligence. He has been recommended here as a preferred candidate by his teacher, since Charlie’s motivation is remarkable. He “tryed the hardist becaus I reely wantd to lern I wantid it more even then pepul who are smarter even then me” (3). Charlie also reveals basic information about his family, such as that they lived in Brooklyn and he does not remember anything about them. This foreshadows Charlie learning about his past.