Flowers For Algernon Essay

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Ryne Scopp Mrs. Peterson AP Psychology, Period C 18 January 2011 Charlie and Intelligence When one asks themselves, “Does the novel Flowers for Algernon make a definitive statement about the role of intelligence in human life, or does it simply explore this idea as an open-ended question?” The answer is not very difficult, after briefly thinking about it, I believe that the answer to this question is that Flowers for Algernon does make a definitive statement about the role of intelligence in human life because of how Charlie’s life changes from how it was before his operation, to how it is after his operation. To further prove this however, one will need to look at several key points about intelligence itself, mental age, chronological age and social intelligence will help prove this opinion. One’s mental age is the intellectual level at which the person is functioning. After reading Flowers for Algernon, it is obvious that Charlie should not have these behaviors that he thinks are normal for someone his age. Charlie is 32 years old, which is his chronological age, which is the number of years a person has lived. Charlie writes with the ability of a fifth or sixth grader, not of someone who should have graduated college and now have a steady job by this point of their life. Such as in this instance, “martch 5—Dr Strauss and prof Nemur say it don’t matter about the ink on the cards. I told them I dint spill the ink on them and I coudnt see anything in the ink.” (Keyes 3) It is obvious that Charlie’s spelling and grammar are obviously not suitable for someone of his age and that he is, as the book states, and using the proper medical term of the time, with an I.Q. of 68, mentally retarded, and even more specifically a moron. Social intelligence is the ability to comprehend social situation and behaving appropriately. Prior to his operation, Charlie

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