Flowers For Algernon
Alice Walker
Contributed by Jennefer Ruano
Chapter 7
Summary

This report covers the events leading up to and immediately following the operation. Charlie tells how he was scared, but the operation was performed in his sleep. Charlie’s first nurse, Hilda, is replaced after telling him that perhaps the operation shouldn’t have been performed, suggesting that it was against God’s will. Miss Kinnian, Charlie’s teacher at the Beekman School for Retarded Adults, visits and tells Charlie that he will have to work hard if he wants to get smarter. Charlie is able to correctly spell "progress" and "report," and he again expresses his desire to get smarter and to reconnect with his family. 

Analysis

Charlie’s lack of understanding of general medical procedures further illustrates his limited intellect. Hilda’s comments introduce a main theme in the novel, namely whether man has the right to tamper with God’s work. Charlie’s ability to remember how to spell the words "progress" and "report" offers the first evidence of his improved mental power. However, Charlie does not recognize the change in himself.

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