Flowers for Algernon

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Norma Gordon Character Analysis

Charlie Gordon’s younger sister. Norma, it’s implied, is an intelligent, hardworking woman, who always resented Charlie for getting more attention and love than she did. In spite of her rocky relationship with Charlie, Norma seems eager to reunite with Charlie when he visits her—newly brilliant—in Brooklyn. In spite of her resentment, she always loved Charlie.
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Norma Gordon Character Timeline in Flowers for Algernon

The timeline below shows where the character Norma Gordon appears in Flowers for Algernon. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
3d progris riport
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Intelligence vs. Wisdom and Morality Theme Icon
Pride, Hubris, and the Tragic Hero Theme Icon
...beings, too. Nemur needs permission from someone in Charlie’s family. Charlie mentions his younger sister, Norma, and his parents, whom he hasn’t seen for a long time. (full context)
Progris riport 5
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Intelligence vs. Wisdom and Morality Theme Icon
March 6. Strauss and Nemur track down Charlie’s sister, Norma, who lived with Charlie’s mother in Brooklyn. Norma gives the doctors permission to operate on... (full context)
Progress Report 8
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Intelligence vs. Wisdom and Morality Theme Icon
Pride, Hubris, and the Tragic Hero Theme Icon
Cruelty and Bullying Theme Icon
...remembers his Uncle Herman, a house painter. He also remembers his parents slapping his sister Norma for calling him “the artist of the family.” Charlie (still unaware that Norma was being... (full context)
Progress Report 9
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Cruelty and Bullying Theme Icon
Charlie remembers his mother and his sister, Norma. When Norma was a baby, Charlie tried to comfort her, but his mother was so... (full context)
Progress Report 10
Pride, Hubris, and the Tragic Hero Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
...morning, Charlie remembers his dream. He also remembers being six years old, before his sister, Norma, was born. Charlie’s mother, whose name is Rose, insists that Charlie was normal, though Charlie’s... (full context)
Progress Report 11
Cruelty and Bullying Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
...association, and discovers a memory he didn’t know he had. In the memory, Charlie finds Norma’s underwear stained with blood, and his parents spank him for “being bad.” In the present,... (full context)
Progress Report 12
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Cruelty and Bullying Theme Icon
Charlie continues to have vivid flashbacks to his childhood. In one, he sees his sister Norma returning from school, happy at having gotten an “A” on her paper. Rose and Matt... (full context)
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Cruelty and Bullying Theme Icon
Charlie remembers something else: once, Norma told her friends that Charlie wasn’t really her brother at all, but just “a boy... (full context)
Progress Report 14
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Intelligence vs. Wisdom and Morality Theme Icon
...send Charlie away, since she believes that Charlie’s presence is having a bad effect on Norma’s development. Matt accuses Rose of trying to “cut her losses” with Charlie, now that she... (full context)
Progress Report 16
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Intelligence vs. Wisdom and Morality Theme Icon
Pride, Hubris, and the Tragic Hero Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
...Effect—proof that her son turned out to be someone important. Then, the front door opens—it’s Norma, Charlie’s sister. (full context)
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Intelligence vs. Wisdom and Morality Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Norma recognizes Charlie right away. She explains that Professor Nemur told her about Charlie’s operation, and... (full context)
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Intelligence vs. Wisdom and Morality Theme Icon
Cruelty and Bullying Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Charlie notices that Norma owns a dog now, and this reminds him of the fight they had years ago.... (full context)
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Intelligence vs. Wisdom and Morality Theme Icon
Cruelty and Bullying Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Norma insists that Charlie should stay with her family. Charlie shakes his head—he needs to travel,... (full context)
Ignorance, Intelligence, and Happiness Theme Icon
Intelligence vs. Wisdom and Morality Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
...his mother for threatening him and hating him for all these years. Calmly, he tells Norma that he’ll see her soon, and leaves the house. As he walks away, he turns... (full context)