"Flowers for Algernon," Vocabulary from Progress Reports 1-11

May 30, 2014
Daniel Keyes' sweet and sad story "Flowers for Algernon" depicts the quest for perfection and the double-edged sword that is too much knowledge in an engaging, relatable story about a man and his friend the mouse.

Learn these word lists for the novel: Progress Reports 1-11, Progress Reports 12-15, Progress Reports 16-17
(I just looked up the word in the dicshunery Dr Strauss gave me. SUBCONSCIOUS, adj. Of the nature of mental operations yet not present in consciousness; as, subconscious conflict of desires) Theres more but I still dont know what it meens.
I showed them and everyone laffed when I told them that Mr Donner said I was the best janiter and errand boy he ever had because I like my job and do it good and never come late or miss a day exept for my operashun.
The more intelligent you become the more problems you’ll have, Charlie. Your intellectual growth is going to outstrip your emotional growth.
So I’ve got to come into his office twice a week now to talk about the things that bother me.
“No, nothings wrong. Those inkblots upset me.”
I was sure they had made fun of me and tricked me when I was too ignorant to know better.
Charlie hunches over on his stool, intently watching Gimpy pick up the knife and cut off a slab of dough.
He is unaccustomed to this rare moment of success.
We’ve predicted the pattern correctly so far. We’re justified in making an interim report.
It’s exciting to hear them talking about poetry and science and philosophy—about Shakespeare and Milton; Newton and Einstein and Freud; about Plato and Hegel and Kant, and all the other names that echo like great church bells in my mind.
I don’t know who made it for him, or what became of it, but I see him standing there fascinated as the string untwists and sets the rings spinning
Even in the world of make-believe there have to be rules. The parts have to be consistent and belong together.
“You’re beginning to see what’s behind the surface of things. What you say about the parts having to belong together—that was a pretty good insight.”
Suddenly, I had become clumsy and awkward again, and when I tried to apologize I found my tongue had become too large for my mouth.
I hated her as I had never hated anyone before—with her easy answers and maternal fussing.
She highlighted my awkwardness, my lack of knowledge about the right things to say and do.
She takes me into her arms, kisses and caresses me, and I want to hold her tightly but I’m afraid.
I kept my eyes averted from the register as I brought out the tray of Eclairs and sorted out the cookies, buns, and cakes.
He seemed animated and good-natured, but looking up he caught my eye, frowned and turned away.
I asked Professor Nemur about it, and he insists that I’m an innocent bystander and there’s no reason for me to become involved in what would be an unpleasant situation.
When you mature intellectually, we may not be able to communicate. When you mature emotionally, you may not even want me.
My most absorbing interests at the present time are etymologies of ancient languages, the newer works on the calculus of variations, and Hindu history.
People resent being shown that they don’t approach the complexities of the problem—they don’t know what exists beyond the surface ripples.
I asked him what he thought of the suggestion by some senators that we begin using such tactics as “blacklisting” and reinforcement of the navicert controls that had been used in World Wars I and II, against some of the smaller nations which now oppose us.
The same thing happened when I tried to discuss Chaucer with an American literature specialist, questioned an Orientalist about the Trobriand Islanders, and tried to focus on the problems of automation-caused unemployment with a social psychologist who specialized in public opinion polls on adolescent behavior.
Did she want me to hold her that way, or was she merely tolerating it?
Dr. Strauss feels that emotionally I’m still in that adolescent state where being close to a woman, or thinking of sex, sets off anxiety, panic, even hallucinations.
He feels that my rapid intellectual development has deceived me into thinking I could live a normal emotional life.
Joe nodded, turning to emphasize the point to Gimpy who had just come up behind him.
It had been all right as long they could laugh at me and appear clever at my expense, but now they were feeling inferior to the moron.
You used to be a good, dependable man—ordinary, not too bright maybe, but honest—and who knows what you done to yourself to get so smart all of a sudden.
Before, they had laughed at me, despising me for my ignorance and dullness; now, they hated me for my knowledge and understanding.
If I could reach Alice in time—without thinking about it, before it overwhelmed me—maybe the panic wouldn’t happen.
She tried to soothe me, to tell me it didn’t matter, that there was no reason to blame myself.
But ashamed, and no longer able to control my anguish, I began to sob.

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Tuesday January 13th 2015, 8:05 PM
Comment by: Rani A. (GA)
Good job!

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