For those of you who have not read the story it is about a very kind young man named Charly who has an IQ of 68. Charly desperatly wants to" be smart" and volunteers to be the first human to undergo an experimental procedure to raise his intelligence. The treatments works so well that within weeks he has now surpassed the intellilgence of the doctors who performed the surgery on him. Now Charly has realized that the people who he once thought were his friends were really laughing at him and not with him. Life was suddenly a cruel ephipany now that he had extreme intelligence but no one whom he could trust. Watching the lab rat Algernon who received the same experimental treatment achieve greatness and then subcomb to his death made Charly wonder if he was better off prior to the procedure.
The story is soul wrenching, yet I am happy that the school district chose now to introduce it to the students. Tomorrow marks the first day of Developmental Disability Month, and this book is a wonderful tribute to all of our local individuals who are struggling with this same adversity. When I read this book in 10th grade I knew it made an impact on but thought nothing of it. Now that my daughter is reading it I can't help but to wonder two things.
One: Will she even understand the book and make a connection to her own life?
Two: If there was a new breakthough in science, would I allow her to take the treatment in hopes of improving her life?
I would be lying if I said I never wondered what she would be like if she didn't have any problems. But would I want to take the chance of ruining her pure sweet innocence and loving disposition just so that she could be smarter? Not likely. Yes, I would love to know that one day she will graduate from college, marry the man of her dreams, and live a productive life that included a career and family. The reality of it is that she will most likely live with me my whole life, tell me twenty times a day that I'm her girl, and give me hugs & bed bugs each night before bed. I have a forever child and I wouldn't change that for the world.