Flowers for Algernon Reflection

704 Words3 Pages
Flowers for Algernon Reflection: The novel Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes follows the story of a mentally challenged man named Charlie Gordon, who receives an experimental treatment to increase his intelligence. The treatment results in Charlie reaching an unheard of level intelligence in a matter of months, however the treatment is short lived. Soon after reaching the top Charlie’s intelligence rapidly plummets down to a state of mental retardation once again. The novel exhibits several moral issues when it comes to the treatment, particularly the experimental treatment, of mentally disabled individuals. Flowers for Algernon was published in the late 1960’s when few treatments for mental deficiencies were available, and for many years prior to that the mentally handicapped were merely institutionalized and removed from the rest of society, as there was no solution to integrate these people into “normal” society. They were often placed in state run facilities which would take care of them. Many of these patients would be forced to live their entire lives in these facilities alienated from the rest society. Later on the concept of deinstitutionalization was created which was based on the idea of integrating and reintegrating mentally challenged persons into the community. This would seem to be a much more humane treatment of these people to give them a shot at a regular life, but is it really what is best for some of these individuals who may have difficulty adapting and surviving in the outside world. The procedure performed on Charlie in the beginning of the book was experimental, it had only worked on a mouse named Algernon prior to the Universities attempt on Charlie. Professor Nemur and his associates were unsure of the long term outcome of the procedure, had they spent another few months examining
Open Document