Flowers for Algernon by Daniel KeyesThe story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlies intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance--until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?
Flowers for Algernon's sad, sweet genius
Charlie Gordon, a mentally retarded thirty-two-year-old man, is chosen by a team of scientists to undergo an experimental surgery designed to boost his intelligence. The directors of the experiment, Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur, ask Charlie to keep a journal. The other employees often taunt him and pick on him, but Charlie is unable to understand that he is the subject of mockery. He believes that his coworkers are good friends. After a battery of tests—including a maze-solving competition with a mouse named Algernon, who has already had the experimental surgery performed on him—Charlie undergoes the operation.
From the SparkNotes Blog
Starting on March 3, a mentally disabled man named Charlie Gordon starts coming into a lab as a test subject for a possible experiment. He is 32 years old, and works as a floor sweeper and performs other lowly tasks at a bakery. He found this job at the bakery through his Uncle Herman , who was best friends with Mr. Donner , the owner. Charlie does poorly on the tests that the lab shows him, such as the Rorschach, Thematic Apperception, and maze races against a white lab mouse named Algernon. Still, his teacher at the school for mentally disabled adults has set Charlie up as a candidate for this experiment because of his extreme motivation. Charlie shows the most enthusiasm for learning and desire to be smarter out of all the candidates, even those smarter than him.