Charlies Treatment Charlie, the main character in Charlie, by Daniel Keyes is treated differently by everyone he knows. Imagine you had mental retardation. You only know the basics of anything. You cant spell and have an extremely limited vocabulary. Suddenly you have an experimental operation. This makes you extremely smart.
Now you can understand emotions. With this new understanding you know how everyone has been treating you. Compared to everyone else Charlie is treated nicely by his father. His father protects him from most everyone. Even his mother.
Not only does his father accept him but excepts the fact that Charlie is retarded. “How do you know? What do you know about this man? If there was anything that could be done, the doctors would have told us a long time ago.” (94, Keyes). This is what Matt, the father, was saying to Rose, the mother. They were at a doctors office with the young Charlie. Rose felt that Dr. Guarino could make Charlie smart.
Matt is skeptical that this could work. He is right, it doesnt. Charlies mother treats him much differently than Matt. How Rose treats Charlie can classified into two phases. Before Norma, his sister, was born Rose was kind and loving towards Charlie.
However, once Norma was born Rose was harsh and concerned that Charlie would hurt, or even kill Norma. In the book there is an incident in which Rose was planning to kill Charlie if he wasnt sent away. Again, before Norma was born Rose would have done anything to make Charlie smart. “Hes going to be normal, whatever we have to do, whatever it costs.” (94, Keyes). This is what Rose said to Matt just before they went to see Dr. Guarino.
Rose will also believe anything that is said about Charlie becoming smart. On the whole, before Norma was born Rose loved and cherished Charlie, and after, she neglected and hated him. Another person who mirrors Roses actions is Professor Nemur. Prof. Nemur was one of the scientists who performed the experiment on Charlie. Before Charlie had the operation Prof.
Nemur was treating him like an object. Although, Charlie didnt know it one could feel it from the reading. After the operation Charlie notices this and makes Prof. Nemur aware. “He treated me – even then – as a human being. It may sound like ingratitude, but this is one of the things I resent here – the attitude that I am a guinea pig.
Nemurs constant references to having made me what I am, or that someday there will be others like me who will become real human beings.” (101, Keyes). The “he” Charlie mentions is Dr. Guarino. This quote shows just how differently everyone treated him. Prof. Strauss, like Matt, treats Charlie with more respect that Nemur.
Prof. Strauss is another scientist working on the experiment with Charlie. He gives advice and understands some problems Charlie has. When Charlie is at a medical convention with the professors there is a small party. At this party Prof. Nemur is explaining Charlies experiment. Charlie interrupts Nemur with talk of an article which attacked the way they reversed his retardation.
Nemur shrugs it off and continues. At that point Charlie starts to talk to Strauss. “What did I day that upset him in that way?” (104, Keyes). Charlie asked Strauss “Youre making him feel inferior and he cant take it.” (104, Keyes). Strauss responds. “Im serious for gods sake. Tell me the truth.” (104, Keyes).
“Charlie, youve got to stop thinking that everyone is laughing at you. Nemur couldnt discuss those articles because he hasnt read them.” (104, Keyes). This short conversation shows two things. It shows that Strauss is concerned about Charlie and feels it would be better to help him. Also, it shows that Nemur doesnt want his experiment. In other words he wants to be in the limelight.
These conflicting feelings confuses Charlie. Since his intellectual side much exceeds his emotional side he doesnt know how to handle these new emotions. In the movie Charlie asks Alice why people dont make fun of a cripple, or someone whos deaf but do make fun of a moron. Anyone who does make fun of a retarded person is unfair to all human nature and are morons themselves.