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Flowers for Algernon

Daniel Keyes
  • Study Guide

Important Quotes Explained

Quotes Important Quotes Explained
We were the main attraction of the evening, and when we settled, the chairman began his introduction. I half expected to hear him boom out:

This passage appears in Progress Report 13, when Charlie and Algernon accompany Nemur and Strauss to the scientific convention in Chicago where they are presenting their findings. The researchers treat Charlie and Algernon as exhibits, and Charlie grows increasingly upset that he is being treated as more of a laboratory animal than a human being. At the convention, Charlie’s feeling of victimization reaches a new level of intensity. He is surrounded by an entire auditorium of scientists who are curious to see him not as an individual but merely as the result of Nemur and Strauss’s experiment. Charlie feels as though there are hundreds of Nemurs all eyeing him clinically, and that he is there not so much to enlighten the scientists as to entertain them. He imagines the chairman of the conference as a carnival barker, touting Charlie and Algernon as a “side show,” the portion of the circus where so-called freaks are put on display. Charlie imagines the chairman callously referring to him as a “moron,” grotesquely proving that he is not the least bit concerned with Charlie’s feelings. This paranoid fantasy is the height of Charlie’s sense of being objectified; it leads him to assert his independence by running away from the conference with Algernon.

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