One of my favorite parodies – Flowers for Algernon.

After Homer finds himself in a financial bind, he signs up to be a guinea pig for medical experiments.  An x-ray reveals a crayon stuck in Homer’s brain, which ends up being the causeof his stupidity.  After the crayon is removed, Homer’s IQ rises.  Homer intellect is now equal to Lisa’s and he improves in almost every area of his life.  However, Homer is soon ostracized because his thorough report at the plant causes all of his friends to be layed-off.  Homer realizes his life was more enjoyable as an “idiot” and turns to Moe to re-insert a crayon in his brain.

Homer’s journey is similar to Charlie’s in Flowers For Algernon.  I think the revelation that life is simpler without intelligence is the major connection between the two characters.  Charlie could have continued to work with Nemur to fix the flaw in the hypothesis.  However, he chose to let the deterioration of his intelligence continue.  Homer also chose to reverse his procedure.  Homer was also able to connect with Lisa on a different level than before, and left a good-bye note explaining the admiration he has for her now.

This is one of the few episodes where we see a non-“Woo-hoo” Homer.  Of course Homer’s intelligence wasn’t going to last long if the show were to continue.  Homer represents the some of the opposite of what our society has become.  In “Homer and Aristotle“, Raja Halwani believes “Homer’s love of life stands out as an important quality especially in our age, an age in which political correctness, over-politeness, lack of willingness to judge others, inflated obsession with physical heath, and pessimism about what is good and enjoyable about life reign more or less supreme”.   He stands up against some of our societies worst qualities and how could we have The Simpsons without this Homer.

Advertisements