How to Treat the Stupid

I thought Flowers for Algernon was going to be a feel good story: Idiot gets experimented on by scientists for intelligence-enhancing formula, triumphs his life’s biggest hurdle, and lives happily ever after. But I wouldn’t have wanted to get involved with something like that since reading an entire novel nowadays takes up a lot of time and if I wanted to experience a heart-warming tale about the triumph of the human spirit, I’d watch Mean Girls.

So I went to the last few pages and found out that Charly, the hero, would eventually return to his original mental state evidenced by his once again faulty spelling and sentence construction. Also, I have had it with Winston Groom/Forrest Gump-like novels that read like they were written by 4-year olds. Charly’s return to kindergarten composition confirms this isn’t going to be predictably feel-good although I don’t have anything against feeling good.

Daniel Keyes’s Flowers for Algernon is a sad book, which is just my type. The most devastating part happens at the mental institution that Charly visits, where he checks for himself his future home, populated by drooling hopeless cases, his future roommates, where his foreseeable mental decline would deliver him to. It’s like Mylene Dizon in the film 100 scouting for her own coffin’s price tag. He later gets Charly to bring flowers to Algernon the rat’s grave since they both are the experiment’s test subjects and they have bonded deeply. Are you sad yet?

If you think about it, Charly Gordon have had it easy. He was born stupid so he dies stupid. Science may have lent him intelligence but in the end, he’s still going to struggle because the scientists aren’t complete geniuses themselves. I say easy because with Charly’s level of stupidity, people are wont to be upfront about it. Sad, sad, sad.

 

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5 thoughts on “How to Treat the Stupid

  1. When you’re not Charly Gordon-stupid, consistently being substandard and average can not be chalked up to faulty brain composition. You are either lazy or just an unremarkably stupid office yuppie.

    Or, you’ve realized the futility of everything that you just cannot be bothered to exert more than what is absolutely necessary.

    On another note, Mean Girls is fucking wonderful. 😀

    Ano nang nangyari sa drinking session na matagal nang in the works? 🙂

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  2. I think it would be fair to say that Infinite Jest is my favorite novel of all time. I’m serious about rereading the damn thing, even if it kills me. Hehe.

    Syempre hindi ko naman kayang i-command ang kagandahan ni Momel. All I can do is humbly suggest. 🙂

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  3. Kung wala lang distraction I’d read IJ again. That was 1 of the most involved, super serious reading experiences ever.

    Let’s hope Momel gets wind of our wishes. Hehe. Im sure masaya kainuman yun.

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