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Flowers for Algernon

Daniel Keyes
  • Study Guide

Important Quotes Explained

Quotes Important Quotes Explained

P.S. please tel prof Nemur not to be such a grouch when pepul laff at him and he would have more frends. Its easy to have frends if you let pepul laff at you. Im going to have lots of frends where I go.

These words constitute Charlie’s second-to-last postscript in his final progress report. Having decided to go live at the Warren State Home and cut himself off from all the people he has known, Charlie writes farewells to Alice and Dr. Strauss, but he saves a special word of advice for Nemur. Throughout the novel, Nemur is portrayed as a humorless and intensely career-focused man lacking in human compassion. For a time, at the height of his genius, Charlie’s own intellectual self-absorption threatens to turn him into a similarly cold individual. Upon discovering that his bakery coworkers used to tease him for sport when he was intellectually disabled, Charlie becomes understandably angry and embittered, hating the idea that he was the subject of such mockery.

Unlike Charlie, Nemur has not been the target of cruel jokes, but he is nonetheless insecure and fears any challenge to his authority. Near the end of the novel, Charlie comes to learn that intellectual superiority is not the most important goal of a human life. He is able to steer himself away from becoming like Nemur, learning to love and forgive other people. Now, in this report, written after he has fully reverted to his original state, Charlie tries to pass on some of what he has learned to Nemur. Although Charlie is no longer capable of articulately expressing his emotional discoveries to Nemur, his words nonetheless ring with the truth of experience. Nemur would indeed have “more frends” if he were not so focused on maintaining a pointless sense of superiority. Charlie finds that, despite the vast intellectual gulf that separates him from Nemur, the lessons he has learned apply just as much to an esteemed scientific researcher as they do to a man with an intellectual disability.

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