Charlie Gordon, the protagonist, is a 37 year old male with an intelligence level of a mere 68. He struggles to grasp the concept of emotions, and cannot comprehend certain tasks. Out of suggestion from his night school teacher, Miss Kinnian, he attends to a laboratory as a test subject in hopes of tripling his intelligence.
Charlie Gordon is put through a long series of tests, including an Ink Blot test and a maze test, where he races a white mouse named Algernon.
Charlie is presented to the public with his new, growing intelligence.
Charlie´s intelligence begins to drain. Algernon dies due to his intelligence completely vanishing, making the experiment a failure.
Charlie decides to leave his town, hoping to live somewhere different and start with a new leaf. He decides he´ll allow people to laugh at him, stating ¨If you let people laugh at you, you´ll make more friends.¨