Mr. Charlie Gordon

  • Progress report 1

    Charlie Gordon, a retarded adult, begins to keep a journal int the hope of being able to undergo an operation that is intended to increase his intelligence. This journal is to track his progress: "Dr Strauss says I shud rite down what I think and evrey thing that happins to me from now on (371)." Charlie very badly wants the operation to be a success and to become 'smart.'
  • Progress report 2

    Charlie takes a Rorshchach personality test in order to qualify for the operation. "[The administrator] sed Charlie what do you see on this card. . . . I told him I saw an inkblot. . . I dint see nuthing in the ink but he said there was picturs there other pepul saw some picturs (372)."
  • Progress report 3

    Charlie takes more tests, including the Thematic Apperception Test. This time, he is asked to make up stories about the characters he sees in pictures. Once again, he gives no response. Then, Charlie is made to race in a maze against the mouse Algernon. ". . . That test made me feel worser than all the others because they did it over 10 times with difernt amazeds and Algernon won every time (374)."
  • Progress report 4

    "Their going to use me! Im so exited I can hardly write (374)," records Charlie. Charlie is chosen for the operation because of his motivation to learn, despite an argument between Drs. Nemur and Strauss.
  • April 6

    Charlie beats Algernon for the first time. "I beat Algernon! I dint even know I beat him until Burt the tester told me. Then the second time I lost because I got so excited I fell off the chair before I finished. But after that I beat him 8 more times (379-380)."
  • April 14

    Charlie is becoming more curious. "Finished Robinson Crusoe. I want to find out more about what happens to him but Miss Kinnian says thats all there is. Why (381)."
  • April 15

    Charlie continues to learn, and with his knowledge begins to come a hinting a personality change in store for the future. Miss Kinnian notices this, too. "[Miss Kinnian] says Im a fine person and Ill show them all. I asked her why. She said never mind but I shouldnt feel bad if I find out that eveybody isnt nice like I think (381)." Charlie has not fully caught on to his friends ways, though, as he is still confused by this remark.
  • April 20

    For the first time ever, Charlie understands how his friends are teasing and tormenting him, and he is upset greatly. After concluding a passage about another night out with Joe and Frank Charlie says, "I didn't know what to do or where to turn. Everyone was looking at me and laughing and I felt naked. I wanted to hide myself I ran out into the street and I threw up... It's a funny thing I never knew that Joe and Frank and the other liked to have me around all the time to make fun of me (383)."
  • April 21

    Charlie's intelligence is increasing quickly now: "... now I know I'm getting smarter every day (383)." He is retaining information much better and more accurately now.
  • April 22

    Charlie takes the Rorshach Test again. This time, however, he understands it. Charlie wonders if in the past he had "...really been that feeble-minded (385)?" when taking the test the first time.
  • April 25

    Charlie figures out a way to save his factory $10,000 a year. He notices that "People don't talk to me much any more or kid around the way they used to. It makes the job kind of lonely (386)."
  • April 28

    Charlie acknowledges his awareness to the possiblity that he may at one point forget all that he has learned. "I didn't want to think of that possibility any more than elderly people want to think of death (388)." Charlie also realizes that he is in love with Miss Kinnian.
  • April 30

    Charlie quits his job at the factory after being forced to by a petition from the workers. It is also revealed that Charlie's intellect has grown remarkably because he is able to quickly 'scan' a list of 840 names and then remark on which single person's name was not there. "This intelligence has driven a wedge between me and all the people I once knew and loved.... Now I'm more alone than ever before (389)..."
  • May 15

    Charlie's intellegence has skyrocketed, and he is now incredibly smart. His advanced intellect has changed his views of his colleges, manly Drs. Strauss and Nemur, particularly for the worse. "Contrary to my earlier impressions of him, I realize that Dr. Nemur is not at all a genius (389)." Discoveries such as this one, all put vastly out of proportion because of Charlie's massive IQ are common.
  • May 18

    Due to his intellegence, Charlie has become even more introverted: "I find that I don't communicate with people much any more. Thank God for books and music and things I can think about. I am alone in my apartment at Mrs. Flinn's boardinghouse most of the time and seldom speak to anyone (391)."
  • May 20

    A very deep pyschological revelation hits Charlie while he is dining at the corner diner. A mentally retarded boy dropped and broke dishes while bussing a table and was made fun of by the customers. The boy did not understand their taunts, and laughed with them. "I felt sick inside as I looked at his dull, vacuous smile, the wide, bright eyes of a child, uncertain but eager to please... And I had been laughing at him too (391)." Charlie realizes that was once him, and feels terrible.
  • June 5

    By studying Algernon, Charlie discovers that he will soon lose all of his present knowledge: "... by all indications, my own mental deterioration will be very rapid (396)." Charlie takes it upon himself to further the research of Drs. Nemur and Strauss as long as he can.
  • June 15

    Charlie comments once more on his mental state. "Deterioration progressing. I have become absent-minded (396)." After burying a dead Algernon, Charlie crys, showing a more emotional development in his character.
  • June 30

    Charlie now has some trouble writing again, and constantly reminds himself to continue his journal entries to help make sure that people will understand what happened to him. "[Dr. Strauss] feels guilty. They all do. But I don't blame anyone. I knew what might happen. But how it hurts (396)."
  • July 7

    Charlie becomes incredibly forgetful, even with his journal entries, "I keep saying over and over Ive got to do something but then I forget or maybe its just easier not to do what I say Im going to do (398)."
  • July 22

    Scared for Charlie's life, Mrs. Flinn the landlady calls a 'strange doctor' for Charlie. After talking to Charlie, the doctor apparently comes to conclusion that he is mentally retarded. "He talked to me like I was a baby and he winked at Mrs. Flinn. I got mad and chased him out because he was making fun of me the way they all used to (399)."
  • July 25

    Charlie has an encounter with Miss Kinnian when she comes to his door. "She cried and I cried too but I wouldn't let her in because I didn't want her to laugh at me. I told her I didn't like her any more. I told her I didn't want to be smart any more. Thats not true... but I had to say that so shed go away (399)."