Charlie Gordon

Charlie Gordon

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Storyboard Text

  • Another day of work at Donnegan's!
  • Exposition
  • I see nothing! This is stupid!
  • Rising action - Part 1
  • What do you see, Charlie?
  • Rising action - Part 2
  • Wow! I already feel smarter!
  • That's great, Charlie! Be sure to write in your reports!
  • Charles Gordon is a 37 year old man with a mental disability. He is desperate to be used in an experiment, hoping to become smart. The story is situated in New York in the 1960's. Some other prominent characters are Miss Kinnian and Algernon.
  • Climax
  • When trying to interpret an inkblot, Charlie becomes frustrated because he cannot interpret it. 2 days later, he is tested against a mouse named Algernon. Charlie loses, however, the next day his doctor, Dr. Strauss, says he'll be used in an experiment after Ms. Kinnian, his teacher, recommends him to the doctors. Then, he has the surgery.
  • Falling action
  • After the surgery, Charlie's grammar and spelling improve. However, at his workplace, he's not allowed to tell anyone about the surgery. We learn that at his workplace, he's made fun of and bullied. Eventually, he becomes smarter than the doctors and learns several languages. He becomes so smart that his coworkers get him fired through a petition because they were scared of how quickly he changed.
  • Resolution
  • I know what to do! I'll find new friends and move out of New York!
  • Algernon shows signs of deterioration, causing Charlie to begin worrying about his own intelligence. Sadly, Algernon dies. Charlie is devastated and realizes the same will happen to him.
  • Algernon...
  • Charlie's mental state begins to rapidly decline. Before it deteriorates too much, he barricades himself in his house to do intense research. His research greatly contributes to the scientific community's efforts. After publishing his findings, Charlie continues to isolate himself as his intelligence reverts to how it was prior to the surgery. 
  • Why me? I don't want to go back to how I was! I must do something!
  • Charlie's IQ drops to what it was prior to the surgery. He thinks that he must leave New York and start over and get new friends. Charlie leaves New York, where we assume he passes away like Algernon did. However, his many hours of research leave a mark on the world and science for many years to come.
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