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Flowers for Algernon | Section Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Early childhood

    Matt tries to convince Rose of Charlie's limitations, but she insists he is normal.

    Progress Report 10
  • Childhood

    Rose calls Charlie lazy for his inability to read and says she will beat learning into him.

    Progress Report 17
  • Late childhood

    Rose says Charlie would be better off dead and makes him leave the house for Norma's safety.

    Progress Report 14
  • March 3

    Charlie begins to write the reports Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur will use to evaluate him.

    Progress Report 1
  • March 6

    Charlie meets Algernon, and the mouse repeatedly beats him at solving a maze.

    Progress Report 4
  • March 6

    Charlie is chosen to be part of the experiment and to undergo experimental surgery.

    Progress Report 5
  • March 8

    Charlie undergoes surgery.

    Progress Report 7
  • March 29

    Charlie beats Algernon at the maze, showing his intelligence is increasing.

    Progress Report 8
  • April 21

    Charlie's bakery coworkers respond to Charlie's changes with fear and hostility.

    Progress Report 10
  • April 24

    Charlie overhears Strauss and Nemur argue about presenting their findings.

    Progress Report 10
  • June 10

    Charlie realizes he wants to be smart to win his mother's love and acceptance.

    Progress Report 13
  • June 13

    Charlie figures out the experiment is flawed; he lets Algernon out and leaves with him.

    Progress Report 13
  • July 12

    Charlie begins searching for the experiment's flaw.

    Progress Report 15
  • August 11

    Charlie discovers the experiment's flaw will make him lose his intelligence.

    Progress Report 16
  • September 15

    After Algernon dies, Charlie buries him in the backyard.

    Progress Report 16
  • October 11

    Charlie makes love to Alice, overcoming his sexual anxiety and finding love and acceptance.

    Progress Report 17
  • November 15

    Charlie's intelligence declines to its initial level.

    Progress Report 17
  • November 21

    Preparing to go to the Warren State Home, Charlie asks that flowers be put on Algernon's grave.

    Progress Report 17

Section Summaries Chart

Section Summary
Progress Report 1 In his first progress report, which he names "progris riport 1 martch 3," Charlie Gordon explains he is writing because ... Read More
Progress Report 2 In his second report, which Charlie Gordon labels "progris riport 2-martch 4," Charlie is afraid he failed a test and Dr... Read More
Progress Report 3 Charlie Gordon titles this his "3d progris riport." In it he says Dr. Strauss and Professor Nemur have reassured him the... Read More
Progress Report 4 In this report, which Charlie Gordon names "progris riport 4," he writes about more "crazy tests" he has taken. A woman ... Read More
Progress Report 5 In this progress report, which Charlie Gordon names "progris riport 5 mar 6," Charlie says he learned his sister, Norma,... Read More
Progress Report 6 In "progris riport 6th Mar 8," Charlie Gordon writes of awaiting surgery, frightened but bolstered by his lucky rabbit's... Read More
Progress Report 7 Charlie Gordon writes his first postoperative report, "Progress Report 7 March 11," three days after surgery because his... Read More
Progress Report 8 Charlie Gordon is frustrated with his lack of progress and dislikes the testing he must undergo after the operation. He ... Read More
Progress Report 9 Charlie Gordon reports how, much to everyone's surprise, he can operate the mixing machine at the bakery better than the... Read More
Progress Report 10 Charlie Gordon describes how he found a way to make the bakery more efficient and earned a bonus and another raise. He s... Read More
Progress Report 11 Charlie Gordon reports he went on a date with Alice Kinnian. They saw a movie he critiqued as unrealistic; Alice sees th... Read More
Progress Report 12 Charlie Gordon neglects to send Professor Nemur his reports for two weeks, even though he is now being paid for his work... Read More
Progress Report 13 Charlie Gordon reports on the psychological conference he attends in Chicago with Professor Nemur, Dr. Strauss, and Burt... Read More
Progress Report 14 Charlie Gordon writes that the story of his disappearance with Algernon has made the newspapers. The news stories includ... Read More
Progress Report 15 Charlie Gordon reports he has returned Algernon to Burt and has begun to work on the project at Beekman. Burt confirms A... Read More
Progress Report 16 Charlie Gordon writes about a visit to the Warren State Home, where he sees a blank-eyed resident riding on a tractor; t... Read More
Progress Report 17 Charlie Gordon notes his intellectual decline; he gradually loses coordination and the ability to read foreign languages... Read More
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