Main Characters and Analysis

Charlie Gordon

He is the protagonist who has been mistreated by his family and ridiculed by his co-workers. His motive for being smart is to impress others and most importantly please his mother. His intelligence is not equally matched with his emotions which are as primitive as that of a child.

Charlie is essentially coming of age and he gets lost as his over ambition leads him to become conceited and rude as he looks down upon others. Charlie is a happy, kind and innocent man whose intelligence turns him into an alienated, arrogant and unsympathetic character.

Alice Kinnian

She is Charlie’s teacher and often his wise mentor in a way beyond intellect. Alice wants to see Charlie succeed and she truly wants him to have the happiest life he can have, even if it’s not with her. However, Alice is only a match for Charlie for the short amount of time that their IQ’s are similar. Alice is heartbroken to lose Charlie’s brief love.

Professor Nemur

He is the professor who developed the procedure to make Charlie more intelligent. Nemur’s motive behind his research is fame in the name of scientific discoveries. Nemur treats Charlie as an object. It may be the author’s intention to point out that extremely intelligent people are often devoid of sentiment.

Fay Lillman

She is a woman which Charlie has an affair with shortly before his intelligence deteriorates. She is of the sensual world, she is a free spirit that enjoys art, music, fun and sex. Charlie and Fay’s relationship is not that of a deep emotional connection, but of pleasure and indulgence.

Fay easily goes on to the next man as soon as her and Charlie’s relationship fades. Fay is simply carefree, and if she has any emotional depth, Charlie didn’t care to explore it.

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