I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.
Now I understand that one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you've believed in all your life aren't true, and that nothing is what it appears to be.
That's the thing about human life--there is no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed.
Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love. This is something else I've discovered for myself very recently. I present it to you as a hypothesis: Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis. And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain.
How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibilty, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes—how such people think nothing of abusing a man with low intelligence.
...Don't feel sorry for me. I'm glad I had a second chance in life like you said to be smart because I learned a lot of things that I never knew were in this world, and I'm grateful I saw it even for a little bit.
There are a lot of people who will give money or materials, but very few who will give time and affection.
I see now that the path I choose through the maze makes me what I am. I am not only a thing, but also a way of being—one of many ways—and knowing the paths I have followed and the ones left to take will help me understand what I am becoming.
Strange about learning; the farther I go the more I see that I never knew even existed. A short while ago I foolishly thought I could learn everything - all the knowledge in the world. Now I hope only to be able to know of its existence, and to understand one grain of it. Is there time?.
Who's to say that my light is better than your darkness? Who's to say death is better than your darkness? Who am I to say?.
But I've learned that intelligence alone doesn't mean a damned thing. Here in your university, intelligence, education, knowledge, have all become great idols. But I know now there's one thing you've all overlooked: intelligent and education that hasn't been tempered by human affection isn't worth a damn...Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love...Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis.
No one really starts anything new, Mrs. Nemur. Everyone builds on other men's failures. There is nothing really original in science. What each man contributes to the sum of knowledge is what counts.
Even in the world of make-believe there have to be rules. The parts have to be consistent and belong together.
How can I make him understand that he did not create me? He makes the same mistake as the others when they look at a feeble-minded person and laugh because they don't understand there are human feelings involved.
So this is how a person can come to despise himself-knowing he's doing the wrong thing and not being able to stop.
Although we know the end of the maze holds death (and it is something I have not always known--not long ago the adolescent in me thought death could happen only to other people), I see now that the path I choose through that maze makes me what I am. I am not only a thing, but also a way of being--one of many ways--and knowing the paths I have followed and the ones left to take will help me understand what I am becoming.
I'm not close to him." He looked at me defiantly. "But he's put his whole life into this. He's no Freud or Jung or Pavlov or Watson, but he's doing something important and I respect his dedication - maybe even more because he's just an ordinary man trying to do a great man's work, while the great men are all busy making bombs.
And now - Plato's words mock me in the shadows on the ledge behind the flames: '...the men of the cave would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes.
The universe was exploding, each particle away from the next, hurtling us into dark and lonely space, eternally tearing us away from each other - child out of the womb, friend away from friend, moving from each other, each through his own pathway towards the goal-box of solitary death.
The answer can't be found in books - or be solved by bringing it to other people. Not unless you want to remain a child all your life. You've got to find the answer inside you - feel the right thing to do. Charlie, you've got to learn to trust yourself.
I’m like a man who’s been half-asleep all his life, trying to find out what he was like before he woke up.
The problem, dear professor, is that you wanted someone who could be made intelligent but still be kept in a cage and displayed when necessary to reap the honors you seek. The hitch is that I'm a person.
I see now that when Norma flowered in our garden I became a weed, allowed to exist only where I would not be seen, in corners and dark places.
Dr Strauss said I had something that was very good. He said I had a good motor-vation. I never ever knew I had that. I felt proud when he said that not every body with an eye-q of 68 had that thing. I don't know what it is or where I got it but he said Algernon had it too. Algernons motor-vation is the cheese they put in his box. But it cant be that because I didnt eat any cheese last week.
All the barriers were gone. I had unwound the string she had given me, and found my way out of the labyrinth to where she was waiting. I loved her with more than my body.
Even in the world of make-believe there have to be rules. The parts have to be consistent and belong together. This kind of picture is a lie. Things are forced to fit because the writer or the director or somebody wanted something in that didn't belong. And it doesn't feel right.
I was her bestist pupil in the Beckman School for retarted adults and I tryed the hardist becus I reely wantd to lern I wantid it more even then pepul who are smarter even then me.
Alice knows everything about me, and accepts the fact that we can be together for only a short while. She has agreed to go away when I tell her to go. It's painful to think about that, but what we have, I suspect, is more than most people find in a lifetime.
How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibility, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes—how such people think nothing of abusing a man born with low intelligence.
But the deeper I get tangled up in this mass of dreams and memories the more I realize that emotional problems can’t be solved as intellectual problems are.
One of the things that confuses me is never really knowing when something comes up from my past, whether it really happened that way, or if that was the way it seemed to be at the time, or if I’m inventing it. I’m like a man who’s been half-asleep all his life, trying to find out what he was like before he woke up.
When he admitted this to me, I found myself almost annoyed. It was as if he'd hidden this part of himself in order to deceive me, pretending-- as do many people I've discovered--to be what he is not. No one I've ever known is what he appears to be on the surface.
I can't help but admire the structural linguists who have carved out for themselves a linguistic discipline based on the deterioration of written communication. Another case of men devoting their lives to studying more and more about less and less-filling volumes and libraries with the subtle linguistic analysis of the grunt.
You want these back, don't you? You want me out of here so you can come back and take over where you left off. I don't blame you. It's your body and your brain-and your life, even though you weren't able to make much use of it. I don't have the right to take it away from you. Nobody does. Who's to say that my light is better than your darkness? Who's to say death is better than your darkness? Who am I to say?...
People resent being shown that they don't approach the complexities of the problem - they don't know what exists beyond the surface ripples.
I've learned that intelligence alone doesn't mean a damned thing. Here in your university, intelligence, education, knowledge, have all become great idols. But I know now there's one thing you've all overlooked: intelligence and education that hasn't been tempered by human affection isn't worth a damn.
Downhill. Thoughts of suicide to stop it all now while I am still in control and aware of the world around me. But then I think of Charlie waiting at the window. His life is not mine to throw away. I've just burrowed it for a while, and now I'm being asked to return it.
No, you don't understand because it isn't happening to you, and no one can understand but me. I don't blame you. You've got your job to do, and your Ph.D. to get, and-oh, yes don't tell me, I know you're in this largely out of love of humanity, but you've got your life to live and we don't happen to belong on the same level. I passed your floor on the way up, nad now I'm passing it on the way down, and I don't think I'll be taking this elevator again. So let's just say good-bye here and now.
Light and unfeeling. Drifting and expanding through time and space. And then, as I know I am about to pierce the crust of existence, like a flying fish leaping out of the sea, I feel the pull from below.
Before, they had laughed at me, despising me for my ignorance and dullness; now, they hated me for my knowledge and understanding. Why? What in God's name did they want of me?.
The feeling of cold grayness was everywhere around me-a sense of resignation. There had been no talk of rehabilitation, of cure, of someday sending these people out into the world again. No one had spoken of hope. The feeling was of living death-or worse, of never having been fully alive and knowing. Souls withered from the beginning, and doomed to stare into the time and space of every day.
Whatever happens to me, I will have lived a thousand normal lives by what I might add to others not yet born.
Here look at me. I'm Charlie, the son you wrote off the books? Not that I blame you for it, but here I am, all fixed up better than ever. Test me. Ask me questions. I speak twenty languages, living and dead; I'm a mathematical whiz, and I'm writing a piano concerto that will make them remember me long after I'm gone.
The most important thing had always been what other people thought-appearances before herself or her family. And righteous about it. Time and again Matt had insisted that what others thought about you wasn't the only thing in life. But it did no good. Norma had to dress well; the house had to have fine furniture; Charlie had to be kept inside so that other people wouldn't know anything was wrong.
I started out the evening with every intention of being pleasant and making friends. But these days I have trouble getting through to people. I don’t know if it’s me or them, but any attempt at conversation usually fades away in a minute or two, and the barriers go up. Is it because they are afraid of me? Or is it that deep down they don’t care and I feel the same about them?.