Flowers for Algernon:
Charlie’s Artificial
Intelligence Was Not Perfect

Robert Benedict

A couple of important points: 1) whenever writing about literature, always use the present tense, 2) a strong thesis will lend to a stronger paper

The book of Flowers for Algernon [insert a comma] by Daniel Keyes, is a literary novel [what other kinds of novels are there?] that depicted ["depicts"--always use present tense when discussing literature] the story about a young retarded man named Charlie Gordon, who was used in an experiment to increase intelligence, in which researchers first transformed a laboratory mouse named Algernon into a genius [slow down on the clauses, there, Robert--you might want to break this into two sentences]. Charlie Gordon, who told them he also wanted to be a genius, eagerly volunteering [volunteered] to partake in a surgical experiment, followed in Algernon's four-legged footsteps through the maze of acquiring knowledge and learning about life. An experiment that increased his comprehensive intelligence has fallen short of improving his emotional intelligence. Before the surgery Charlie Gordon struggled to be intellectually accepted as a retarded man, but after the surgery Charlie Gordon’s struggles were not over, they had just changed. People he once trusted and thought were his friends are now, without consciously realizing, belittled and ripped apart by him. As a result of the new artificial intelligence there was a void that needed to be filled within Charlie. His understanding of compassion, sensitivity, and respect had become a mere suggestion [strengthen this thesis by somehow incorporating it into the previous sentence in about 2/3rds the words--remember, the thesis is the guiding force behind the paper--you want it to be as strong (i.e., to make the best and strongest point) as possible].

After several back firing pranks and embarrassing moments [insert a comma] the gang from the bakery, [restrictive clause, no comma] where Charlie had once worked, [delete the comma] became so angry and afraid of him that they petitioned Mr. Donner, Charlie’s former boss, to fire him. Because of Charlie’s new intelligence [insert a comma] his co-workers felt stupid and frightened by him. Unconsciously [insert a comma] and without understanding why his coworkers would be so mad at him, Charlie found ways to improve productivity at the bakery. He discovered that not all of his coworkers were completely honest, so he confronted them [just one, right?]. This made them feel threaten[ed] and uncomfortable. Charlie emotionally struggled to understand, [you've got a run-on here--what should you do?] he thought if he was [use subjunctive, were, not was] to be smarter, his coworkers would like him even more. However, they were so scared and threaten[ed] of Charlie, they became hostile towards him. Why was it so hard for Charlie to understand that he was taking away the livelihood of his coworkers? Maybe the emotional trauma he suffered when he was a child had something to do with it. Perhaps it was because his mother rejected him as a child and now it was time to repay the world. [good theme to explore, though] Maybe it was simpler than that; maybe the research team over [one word--overlooked] looked the importance of emotional intelligence. Could it have been an oversight on their behalf to understand that the growth of emotional intelligence had to parallel the growth of intellectual intelligence? [develop this a bit--I think you've got it] Nevertheless, his desire and thrust for knowledge was drowning his sensitivity and compassion for his coworkers.

Charlie Gordon’s relationship with Miss Kinnian (Alice), which started out simple and innocent, ended up very complex and emotional. In the beginning [insert a comma] Charlie respected and trusted Miss Kinnian as a teacher and a mentor. She was the one person who[m] he knew that [or, "...person he knew who cared...] cared very much about his welfare. However, as Charlie’s intelligence began to develop, his emotions and feelings for Miss kinnian [capitalize] started to change. Miss Kinnian became Alice to him, [new sentence] he had become emotional involved with her. What once was a motherly type of love was now becoming much more. Nevertheless, Charlie’s adolescent emotional maturity sent him on [a] roller coaster ride. Why was it so hard for Charlie to get a grip on his emotions? Selfishly and unconsciously Charlie hurt Alice without even realizing it. Treating her as if she was [were] stupid, he unconsciously questioned her abilities, leaving her to undermine her own self-confidence. Not being able to handle falling in love with Alice, Charlie lustfully pursued a different partner hoping to find answers, [new sentence] unfortunately he fell short to discover any. Maybe deep down inside, because Alice gave him the motherly love he was missing from his own mother before the surgery, Charlie’s sub-conscious [no hyphen] mind after surgery would not allow him to lustfully fall in love with her. Was there another surgery perhaps that Charlie could go through to improve his emotional intelligence? Whatever the reason was, Charlie was driving Alice away. In the end, confused of how to handle his own emotional feelings for Alice, Charlie pushed Alice away in fear that he might hurt her.

Charlie’s attitude had also change[d] towards the research team. Early on in the research [insert a comma] Charlie had admired the team for their intelligence and for everything they were doing to help mankind. As time progressed [insert a comma] his admiration had started to fade. Dr. Strauss [had] stated to Charlie [insert a comma] "Your intelligence growth is going to outstrip your emotional growth," and he was right. Charlie began to get very argumentative and emotional with the research team. At times [insert a comma] he even refused to take some of the test[s]. His relationship with them had become increasingly distant. The more and more Professor Nemur referred to him as a laboratory specimen, the more distant he got with the team. Was his distance because of Professor Nemur, or had Charlie become to[o] intellectually intelligent [as] to be [un]able to clearly communicate with them? Eventually [insert a comma] even simple convers[at]ions had become a struggle for Charlie. Unconsciously, Charlie insulted Professor Nemur’s intelligence by insensitively questioning his research in front of a crowd of people at the most important convention of Professor Nemur’s career. Furthermore, at a party that was held in the honor of the two men that [who had] helped Professor Nemur acquirer [acquire] a grant for the experiment, Charles argued with everyone. Why was Charlie so insensitive when it came to other peoples feelings? Why couldn’t he hold a simple conversation without making people mad? Was it because Charlie’s emotional intelligence was still not mature enough to understand? Isolated in his room, Charlie emotionally managed to alienate everyone who he once respected and trusted.

With all the comprehensive intelligence at his disposal, Charlie still could not capitalize on popularity. He was missing one large ingredient, compassion [good point]. Because our society places such a high value on intellectual intelligence, Charlie’s mentors undermined the importance of emotional intelligence. Arthur C. Clarke said, "It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value." General George S. Patton once said, "If a man does his best, what else is there?" Maybe it is not intellectual intelligence that we should place such a high value on, but instead common decency, because without compassion, sensitivity and respect everything else is just merely a suggestion [the last sentence is the second most important sentence in the paper--if the thesis tells the point, the concluding sentence should tell why it's important].