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Flowers for Algernon | Characters

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Character Description
Charlie Gordon Charlie Gordon is a man with an intellectual disability who participates in a successful experimental study to increase his intelligence. However, Charlie discovers the effects will not be permanent, and he gradually loses all the abilities he gained. Read More
Algernon Algernon, a white laboratory mouse, is the first living creature to undergo experimental brain surgery to increase his intelligence—the same surgery Charlie will have. The mouse becomes a companion to and symbol for Charlie. Read More
Professor Nemur Professor Nemur is a psychology professor and co-creator of the experimental project to increase human intelligence in which Charlie takes part. Read More
Dr. Strauss Dr. Strauss is the psychiatrist and neurosurgeon in the experimental surgery and study to increase intelligence, of which Charlie is a part. Read More
Rose Gordon Rose Gordon is Charlie's abusive mother. She is in denial about his intellectual disability, pushing him to be smart like other children. After her daughter, Norma, is born "normal," Rose starts to see Charlie as a lost cause and a threat to Norma. Read More
Alice Kinnian Alice Kinnian teaches adults with intellectual disabilities at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults. She recommends Charlie for the experimental surgery because of his motivation to learn. She becomes his close friend and lover as his intelligence increases and then declines rapidly. Read More
Mrs. Baffin Mrs. Baffin is Norma's teacher; she gives Norma's history paper an A.
Bernie Bate Bernie Bate works at the bakery as Oliver's assistant.
Bernice Bernice is a student at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults who asks why Charlie has been away from school.
Fanny Birden Fanny Birden works with Charlie at the bakery and is virtually the only one sympathetic toward him. She worries his increased intelligence is against God's will.
Boy with a beanie The boy with a beanie is a student at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults who says he heard Shakespeare was a woman and discusses various other topics with his fellow students.
Lester Braun Lester Braun is a student at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults. He is one of the brighter pupils, but he does not always attend classes, and he doesn't put in as much effort as Charlie does.
Burt Burt is a graduate student who works for Professor Nemur and Dr. Strauss on the project. He administers tests to both Algernon and Charlie.
Joe Carp Joe Carp works at the bakery and is abusive to Charlie.
Chairman The chairman introduces the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults' presentation at the psychological conference in Chicago.
Professor Clinger Professor Clinger teaches at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults and gives the first part of the college's presentation at the psychological conference in Chicago.
Conference psychologist A psychologist at the psychological conference in Chicago asks Nemur why Charlie's intellectual disability isn't permanent based on Nemur's findings about enzymes in the brain.
Dishwasher The dishwasher is an intellectually disabled boy who works at a restaurant and drops and breaks some dishes. Charlie has an outburst and defends him.
Doctor The doctor comes to examine Charlie at the request of Charlie's worried landlady, Mrs. Mooney.
Mr. Donner Mr. Donner hires Charlie to work at his bakery and becomes something of a guardian to him after Charlie's Uncle Herman dies.
Mike Dorni Mike Dorni is a student at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults; he uses a wheelchair.
Dusty Dusty is a young boy at the Warren State Home; he is cared for by an older boy named Jerry.
Economics professor The economics professor at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults cannot answer Charlie's questions because they are outside his area of expertise.
Ellen Ellen is a party guest who amuses the other guests by dancing provocatively to elicit a sexual response from Charlie.
Ernie Ernie works at the bakery with Charlie and fills in for him while Charlie recovers from his operation.
Fat boy The fat boy is a student at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults who claims Christopher Marlowe wrote Shakespeare's plays.
Fay's ex-husband Fay's ex-husband divorces her because she does not take care of the household.
Fay's new boyfriend Fay's new boyfriend is a dance-school instructor who becomes involved with Fay when Charlie no longer spends time with her.
Mrs. Flynn Mrs. Flynn is Charlie's landlady before he has his operation.
Francine Francine is a student at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults. After men take advantage of her, Francine's parents have her sterilized.
Gimpy Gimpy works at the bakery and bosses Charlie and the other workers. He also runs a scam to give some customers lower prices on products in exchange for bribes.
Matt Gordon Matt Gordon is Charlie's father; he fails to protect Charlie from his mother's abuse.
Norma Gordon Norma Gordon is Charlie's sister; she is unkind to him in their childhood.
Dr. Guarino Dr. Guarino is a dishonest doctor who uses fake methodologies to "treat" Charlie for money when Charlie is a young child, claiming he will increase Charlie's intelligence.
Gus Gus is Harriet's brother; he accuses Charlie of sending his sister a dirty note and then beats Charlie.
Harriet Harriet is a girl Charlie likes when he is young. She mistakes his attention for sexual aggression after reading a note she attributes to him; in fact, Hymie Roth wrote it.
Hyram Harvey Hyram Harvey, an elderly guest at Professor Nemur's cocktail party, is from the Welberg Foundation.
Uncle Herman Uncle Herman is Charlie's uncle. He gets Charlie a job at the bakery, and he takes in Charlie when Charlie's mother kicks him out of the house.
Hilda Hilda is a nurse who wonders about the religious implications of Charlie's surgery.
Mrs. Janson Mrs. Janson is a teacher at Charlie's elementary school, P.S. 13.
Jerry Jerry is an older boy at the Warren State Home; he cares for a younger boy named Dusty.
Meyer Klaus Meyer Klaus works at the bakery with Charlie; he twists Charlie's arm and is rebuked by the other workers.
Landsdoff Landsdoff is a scientist whom Charlie calls to discuss an error he finds in an article by him.
Lenny Lenny is a student at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults who discusses the authorship of Shakespeare's plays and other topics with his fellow students.
Leroy Leroy is a man Fay brings home after a date but kicks out when he expects sex.
Mrs. Leroy Mrs. Leroy is Charlie's neighbor when he is a young boy; she takes care of him when his mother is giving birth to Norma.
Mrs. Libby Mrs. Libby is one of Charlie's former teachers; she once tied his hands for fidgeting with things on his desk.
Fay Lillman Fay Lillman, Charlie's neighbor, is an artist who loves to drink and dance. She becomes Charlie's lover and gives Algernon a female mouse companion.
Lucille Lucille is a nurse who cares for Charlie after his surgery; she is sent as a replacement for Hilda.
Man on the street A man on the street asks a confused Charlie if he wants "a girl" and says it will cost him $10; after Charlie gives him the money, the man takes off.
Minnie Minnie is the female mouse Fay gives Algernon for companionship; Algernon attacks Minnie when he grows erratic as a result of his surgery.
Mrs. Mooney Mrs. Mooney is Charlie's landlady at his New York apartment building; she brings him food and looks in on him as his intelligence declines.
Napoleon Napoleon is the dog Norma finally gets when she grows up; she was not allowed to have one as a child.
Bertha Nemur Bertha Nemur is Professor Nemur's overbearing wife.
Nice lady A nice lady gives Charlie a test to measure his cognitive abilities and determines whether he is a good candidate for the experimental surgery.
Oliver Oliver quits as the dough mixer at the bakery where Charlie works.
Oscar Oscar, Harriet's brother, calls Charlie a degenerate and beats him.
Policeman 1 A policeman takes Charlie home when Joe Carp and Frank Reilly abandon him after a party.
Policeman 2 A second policeman takes Charlie home when he gets lost as his intelligence declines.
Dr. Portman Dr. Portman is the doctor Norma Gordon wants her husband to call about having Charlie committed to the Warren State Home.
P.S. 13 assistant principal The assistant principal of P.S. 13, Charlie's first elementary school, turns his head to hide a smile when Rose Gordon insists Charlie will one day go to college.
P.S. 13 principal The principal at Charlie's elementary school recommends he be sent to the Warren State Home.
Rahajamat Rahajamat is the author of an article in the Hindu Journal of Psychopathology; Charlie believes the article casts doubt on Professor Nemur's work.
George Raynor George Raynor, a member of the Welberg Foundation, attends Professor Nemur's party and says scientific studies would get more funding if they had more real-world applications.
George Raynor's wife George Raynor's wife attends Professor Nemur's cocktail party and asks if Charlie's surgery will be performed on others.
Regular customer A regular customer at the bakery where Charlie works gives Gimpy a bribe in exchange for a lower price on a product.
Frank Reilly Frank Reilly works at the bakery and is abusive to Charlie.
Hymie Roth Hymie Roth is a boy at Charlie's elementary school who tricks him into giving Harriet a dirty note; he thinks it is a sweet Valentine letter.
Tanida Tanida is a scientist who works on enzyme fusion; Rahajamat questions him about his work.
Thelma Thelma is a supervisor at the Warren State Home. She says the home's residents will always need her; unlike children in the outside world, they will never become independent.
Tractor driver The tractor driver on the grounds of the Warren State Home gives Charlie directions to Mr. Winslow's office.
Mr. Vernor Mr. Vernor lives in the apartment below Charlie's in New York and complains about the noise Charlie makes.
Mr. Wagner Mr. Wagner is a caretaker at Charlie's elementary school, P.S. 13. He chases away Harriet's brothers, Gus and Oscar, and cleans up Charlie after the beating they give him.
Warren principal The school principal at the Warren State Home believes nothing can be done to treat the residents' intellectual disabilities.
Dr. Wessey Dr. Wessey is a professor at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults. He is recommended to Charlie as someone who may be able to answer Charlie's questions about military economics.
Mrs. Wheeler Mrs. Wheeler is a customer at the bakery where Charlie works. She is involved in Gimpy's scam, and jokes about finding a girlfriend for Charlie.
Professor White Professor White teaches at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults and attends the psychological conference in Chicago.
Mr. Winslow Mr. Winslow is the head psychologist at the Warren State Home. He is sincere and well meaning but tired from dealing with limited resources and overcrowding.
Woman in Central Park A pregnant woman in Central Park wants to have sex with Charlie.
Woodshop teacher The woodshop teacher at the Warren State Home works with deaf-mute boys.
Worfel Worfel presents a paper at the psychological conference in Chicago; the topic is how monkeys' intelligence levels affect their reaction time.
Young clinician A young clinician from Falmouth College attends the psychological conference in Chicago and questions Charlie about the source of his disability; she then frowns as Professor Nemur gives a verbose response.
Young man on a tractor An intellectually disabled young man stares blankly as he rides on a tractor on the grounds of the Warren State Home; Charlie finds this upsetting because the young man reminds him of himself before his operation.
P.T. Zellerman P.T. Zellerman presents a paper at the psychological conference in Chicago. The topic is how curved or straight corners affect the speed at which rats can run through a maze.
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