Set in New York in the 1960s, A 37 year-old man, Charlie, with mental disabilities desires to be smarter, and is being tested by two doctors, Dr. Nemur and Dr. Strauss, to determine if Charlie can be used for a life changing surgery .
After being examined for a while in the lab, Charlie meets a new friend, Algernon. Charlie is instructed to race the mouse as another test. Although Charlie wasn't able to beat the mouse, Charlie developed a close relationship with him. Charlie showed great determination and was later on chosen for the experimental intelligence surgery through Mrs. Kinnian's reccomendation!
You seem to be a good fit, you may be used.
Later on, after the surgery, Charlie races Algernon again, he isn't able to at first, but soon after is able to beat him and excel in other tests without issue. Charlie is showing improvement as he goes on and it shows to the doctors and his teacher,the surgery worked! Charlie and Miss Kinnian begin to get closer as he develops as well, creating a close relationship.
I think I love her...
You are improving so much!
We must show the world!
Wow, they're not as good as I thought.
No! My research, my rules!
Why would this terrible thing happen? I must learn as much as I can.
I must hold on...
Charlie Gordon's Research ...........
As Charlie progresses, he realizes how he has changed and how much others are treating him differently, including his own actions, Miss Kinnian's concerning and distant feelings, his work peers, and even the doctors who did this to him! He has changed drastically, and so has the world around him.
As the story comes to the climax, Algernon, Charlie's best friend, died because he went through the same surgery and experienced the unfortunate effects. Charlie was devastated, but knew he had the same thing coming. Charlie began his work and continued to research for the doctors. He was so determined to know more about the effects and when they could happen to him and so involved in his work. He had so little time, but so much to discover!
As Charlie continues to work on his research, he finds that he will eventually decline in intelligence and has little to go off of. Although he is dissapointed, he continued to try and learn new things constantly, trying to hold on to anything just so he wasn't as he was before. Unfortunatley, Charlie knew what would happen to him just as predicted when Algernon had declined and eventually died. He continued to work and share his findings with the doctors.