The Perks of Being a Wallflower

By: Stephen Chbosky

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Stephen Chbosky

(born January 25, 1970) is an American novelist, screenwriter, and film director best known for writing the New York Times bestselling coming-of-age novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999), as well as for screenwriting and directing the film version of the same book, starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller. He also wrote the screenplay for the 2005 film Rent, and was co-creator, executive producer, and writer of the CBS television series Jericho, which began airing in 2006.

Summary

This novel is about a 15-year-old boy named Charlie who is now a freshman in High School. In the beginning of the story we learn about the suicide of his friend, now not only does he have to cope with the anxiety of starting school but also the loss of his friend. As a result, he starts writing letters to an anonymous stranger about his life experiences.He is known to be an introvert or in other words as described in the novel a "wallflower". His life takes some unusual turns after meeting Sam and Patrick, who take him under their wing. They teach them their ways and it's in this group of friends where he is capable of learning about love and friendship. Unfortunately with all this Charlie also shows his readers all the hardships that teenagers may have to overcome in their life. Consequently, Charlie is not capable to handle all of it and ends up hospitalized. FInally, he wishes to be released and we learn more about his past and how he wants to change. He no longer wants to be a "wallflower".

Favourite character:

My personal favourite character is Charlie. He is the main person in the story and he is also quiet and an introvert character. He plays the lead in a very shy way, usually, the lead character is the opposite and I think that is why this character interests me the most. He is basically learning as he goes along what most high school students do but he is also dealing with mental illness. This character really reminds me of myself I've been through quite a bit but when I started school and all these new things started I was overwhelmed. I had suffered from mental illnesses too and I know that it's not easy to overcome when a past experience still haunts you every day. He was a great character in the book it gave the readers a chance to see how hard life can be sometimes when you don't take the time to properly deal with something. He develops a lot as a person in the book ad the readers get to ride along for that in a way. We see how things are dealt with and that not everything can be dealt with alone, sometimes you need a little help and that's okay.

Charlie's favourite song:

The Smiths - Asleep

Conflict

Character vs. Society

Charlie is going through what most teens deal with during high school. He has a hard time making friends and encounters drugs, teen pregnancy etc.


Character vs. Self

Charlie struggles with self-doubt, anxiety and depression. He also reminds himself of the past when most would rather forget. He often blames himself and has a hard time coping with things.

Point of view: First person (Letter written by Charlie)

Contreversy

This book has been banned in some schools because of it's content. Parents did not like the use of drugs, rape, alcohol, and mental illness that was described in this book. Although what they do not understand is that their kids may encounter these things so why are we keeping it on the down low. They think that it is not appropriate for kids and that it should not be read in schools. I understand for kids of a younger age the book should not be read but it is reality. The book does not sugar coat things and I do not think that should be a reason to ban the book in schools. Kids need to learn that these things happen every day. Kids are bubble wrapped now a days, we don't let them experience pain and failure. In my opinion, this book should be read and I fully recommend it. It's the honest truth, all the teachers need to add is that if anyone is struggling with anything mentioned in the book to get the help they need. These are real problems and it's an opportunity to bring these problems to the attention of student through learning. Killing two birds with one stone if you ask me.

Setting

  • Charlie only tells the readers its 1991-1992
  • Through recherche I found the setting to be in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Figurative language

"He's a wallflower.. You see things, you keep quiet about them and you understand" p.37


This is used to describe Charlie he is a quiet person, he keeps to himself but is very observant and uses his time to better understand people.

Themes

Friendship: In the novel, we see just how much friendship can help and how it had an impact on Charlie and his development and recovery.


Drugs and alcohol: Charlie is introduced to drugs and alcohol for the first time in the novel and the readers get to see it's impact and beter understand why some kids do it.


Sex: A theme that many won't take note of but is a;so very present. Charlie is very open with his letters and this opens up a world to desire, rape, consent, non-consent, self-pleasuring etc.


Mental illness: In the beginning, Charlie loses a friend to suicide, he too suffers from mental illness in the novel and needs help to recover.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Official Trailer #1 (2012) - Emma Watson Movie HD