Rhe Simple Life
Do you ever wish that you could just forget all your worries; make all the complications go away, and live a simple life? Charlie Gordon, a character in the story “Flowers for Algernon”, had that opportunity. Charlie was much happier before he was smart because he was happy with his job, he thought that he had good friends, and he wasn’t worried about what people thought of him.


Charlie was happy with his job before he was smart. He worked at a factory as a janitor. He enjoyed going to work. He stated “We had fun at the factery today.”(p.188). Charlie was very dedicated to his job. He proved this when he said, “…Mr. Donnegan said I was the best janiter he ever had because I like my job and I do it good and never come late or miss a day except for my operashun.”(p.190). Charlie also believed that he had a good job because people told him that he did. “I said Miss Kinnian always said Charlie be proud of your job because you do it good.”(p.190). After he was smart, Charlie quit his job. He states, “I’ve quit my job with Donnegan’s Plastic Box Company.”(p.198). Charlie was fine with his job before he was smart, but the intelligence made him think he was too good for his job, and he was now unemployed, and unhappy.


Before he was smart, Charlie thought that he had good friends. Joe Carp and Frank Reilly were two people who worked at the Factory with Charlie. Charlie said, ”Their really my friends and they like me.”(p.188). Frank and Joe were much smarter than Charlie at the time, and Charlie realized that. He said “I cant wait to be smart like my best friends Joe Carp and Frank Reilly.”(p.190). What Charlie didn’t know was that Frank and Joe used Charlie as the butt of their jokes when they went out. They thought that it was fun to tease Charlie because he didn’t understand and wouldn’t get mad. They never actually liked Charlie as a friend, and Charlie realized this as he gained intelligence. Charlie said, “It’s a funny thing I never knew that Joe and Frank and the others liked to have me around all the time to make fun of me.”(p.192). This must have been a horrible realization to come to. Charlie would have been happier if he had never found out.


Charlie didn’t care what people thought about him before he was smart. There is proof of this when Charlie said, “Joe Carp said I should show the girls how I mop out the toilets in the factory and he got me a mop. I showed them and everyone laffed…”(p.190) Charlie didn’t care that the people laughed because he thought that they were laughing with him, not at him. As Charlie gained intelligence, he did worry about what people thought of him more. He said, “Before, they laughed at me and despised me for my ignorance and dullness; now, they hate me for my knowledge and understanding. What do they want of me?”(p.199) Charlie also said, “I thought he [Dr. Strauss] was mocking me and I’m oversensitive at being made fun of.”(p.200). Those statements proved that after he was smarter, he was self-conscious, which made him unhappy.


Charlie was much happier before he was smart because he was happy with his job, he thought he had good friends, and he wasn’t worried about what people thought of him. I don’t think that Charlie should have ever had the operation in the first place. To just be able to relax and life a simple life is the happiest thing of all.