Changes in Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation
Charlie’s initial leaps forward in intellectual ability are conveyed less by
Starting in Progress Report
The Scientific Method
Charlie and Algernon are subjects in scientific experiments, and as Charlie becomes intelligent, he actually ends up internalizing much of the scientific methodology to which he has been subjected. Not only does Charlie become well versed in the technicalities of science, surpassing Professor Nemur’s knowledge, but he also approaches his emotional problems in a scientific manner. When Charlie realizes that the feelings of shame triggered by his emotional attachment to Alice render him incapable of making love to her, he devises a scientific experiment to test this principle. Charlie decides to try to pretend that Alice is Fay, to whom he is not so emotionally attached, in order to see if doing so will allow him to make love without panicking. Charlie is unable to go through with this experiment, however, because he realizes that he would be effectively placing Alice in the dehumanizing role of laboratory animal, a role he finds deplorable. The scientific pursuit of knowledge becomes Charlie’s guiding principle, but he is aware of the dangers of dehumanization that accompany it. In the end, when Charlie knows his intelligence will desert him and he contemplates suicide, he decides that he must go on living and continue to keep progress reports so that he can pass on knowledge of his unique journey.