Charlie is a 37 year old man who has a very low intelligence wants to get smart in a laboratory but Dr Nemur and Dr Strauss don't exactly know what is going to happen to him. (Keyes 672-675). Dr Nemur is against this experiment but Dr Strauss eventually convinces him to do it. His school teacher (Miss Kinnian) really encourages Charlie to do this because she thinks Charlie is the best use in the experiment. (Keyes 673). "Dr Nemur was worryed about using me but Dr Strausstold him Miss Kinnian rekemmended me the best from all the people who shewas teaching" (Keyes 681). He thinks he has friends, Joe and Frank, but in reality, they just laugh at him. Charlie met them at his work in a factory
The two 'Doctors' had Charlie watch 'TV' and it will supposedly make him smarter. "I told Dr Strauss what good is it to get smart in my sleep. I want to besmart when Im awake. He says its the same thing and I have two minds" (Keyes 681). Charlie doesn't know what this TV actually is. All he knows about the TV is that it will make him smarter. "I beat Algernon!" (Keyes 682). Signs of him getting smarter are starting to show when he finally beats Algernon (the mouse) in the race test.
Charlie starts to see signs of deterioration on Algernon and worries the same will happen to him. He then continues Dr Nemur's and Dr Strauss's research after they have abandoned it. Charlie needed the laboratory to this so he asked the Dr's for the laboratory, "I have been given a lab of my own and permission to go ahead with the research" (Keyes 703). Charlie then realizes how fast he is deteriorating and notices the first symptoms; "I have already begun to notice signs of emotional instability and forgetfulness, the first symptoms of the burnout" (Keyes 705). When he says "the first symptoms of the burnout," he means that "The Algernon-Gordon Effect" (Keyes 704) is starting to kick in.
After still trying to figure out why Algernon was acting abnormal, Algernon dies."Algernon died two days ago" (Keyes 706). He was heartbroken by this catastrophic event because Algernon was the only one who he felt had a close connection except for Miss Kinnian. It only went downhill from here because his personality starts to change in a dreadful way. His landlady, Mrs. Flynn, starts to notice that he is getting more lazy but Charlie says that he is just sick (Keyes 708). Remembering things has also been a main problem for him as for the book Paradise Lost. "I remembered how great I thought John Milton was, but when I picked up Paradise Lost I couldn't understand it at all" (Keyes 706)
Charlie could not figure out how to stop the Algernon-Gordon Effect and eventually changed back to the intelligence he started out in the beginning. "I dont know why Im dumb agen or what I did wrong maybe its becaus I dint try hard enuff" (Keyes 710). Charlie's intelligence has clearly deteriorated because his spelling is not the greatest and he evens says it himself. He also moves out of New York because he doesn't want Miss Kinnian to feel bad for him. "That's why Im going away from New York for good. I dont want to do anything like that agen. I dont want Miss Kinnian to feel sorry for me" (Keyes 711). The classroom was the reason why he wanted to move out of New York because he forgot that he wasn't in Miss Kinnian's class anymore. This made her cry and run out.
Science can only go a certain limit before it eventually fails. Even though something can be scientifically proven to succeed, there still could be a possibility of it failing in the future. For example, Charlie was used as a subject to get smart but the Dr's did not really know what will really happen to him. They had to test him first and then scientifically prove it to the world. After doing their experiment on Charlie, he started to get smarter with his writing. This happened when he beat Algernon in the race test. (Keyes 682). Even though this worked, Charlie was noticing strange behaviors on Algernon that were abnormal to his original behavior. This was the start of the Algernon-Gordon Effect where the experiment starts to go poorly. (Keyes 702-703).