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Response to the book ‘Flowers for Algernon’ Essay

The story of “Flowers for Algernon” is about a man named Charlie Gordon and his life as an intellectually disabled person. But his life changes when he undergoes an operation to increase his intelligence and become smarter than the average person. Once he becomes smart he starts to realise things that he would not have when he was disabled.

Even thou Charlie was intellectually disabled he still lived what he thought was a very good life. He had a job; he had what he thought were friends there. Charlie also went to an adult education class where he enjoyed learning. He also had a nice little place of his own. However, because he is disabled he does miss out on numerous opportunities that many of us take for granted. So it seems he was living an enjoyable life, therefore I neither feel sorry for him nor feel he was lucky.

Charlie’s friends at the factory were not ‘true friends’. Most of them, especially Joe Carp and Frank Reilly, made fun of Charlie at his expense. For example, one time Frank and Joe took Charlie out for a couple of drinks, they got him drunk and made fun of him because of his job as a janitor. After that Frank and Joe ditched Charlie, he thought he was getting them a newspaper and a coffee, but they ran off. Even after all this Charlie still thought that Frank and Joe were his friends because he didn’t understand that they were making fun of him.

I believe that most people with intellectual disabilities are treated fairly. Most are given nearly the same opportunities as normal people would get, eg go to school, get a job and even play sports on weekends. Furthermore most people these days are mature, and don’t take advantage of any disabled people.

The story really hasn’t changed the way I feel towards intellectually disabled people. If I hadn’t grown up knowing one it may have. Disabled people should be treated the same and given the same opportunities as all other people because that is what they really want.

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