The perks Of Being A Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
June 8, 2015
recently I've read a book, which I really did enjoy and would like suggest it to you if you don't mind. The book is The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, written by Stephen Chbosky.
Its a well written book which never leaves you bored while flipping pages, the protagonist Charlie, keeps you interested at all times.
Yet truthfully, charlie, is not his real name. We never know his real name, or anyone's real name, really. Because of the format of the book, which is one of the most intriguing things to me,personally. The format of everything in the book, is in letters, much like this one, all letters which are placed into 4 parts of the book. Charlie writes to someone whom he had never truly met, but knew they would listen because of what he has heard of them, which had only ever been good things. He writes to said person, telling them about his life, and whats happening to him and around him. charlie writes out the story to us, his unknown friend, taking us with him through his first year of high school.
There is no exact time or date in which everything in the story began because everything in the story, every conversation no matter how small and every tiny detail, matters. Everything adds up in the end, every whisper and memory takes place in some way whether you remember it or not in the end. Even though the story that leads to Charlies writing, begins years before, I will begin where the book did, with the first letter.
On August 25th, 1991. Charlie wrote to his friend, for the first time, explaining why he had chosen to write to this exact person, letting them know that there will be no way for them to write back to him, or to contact him in any other way. He informs them that all names will be changed, so that there is no way that the person is able to know who he really is, or who any one else really is. Once he is finished explaining a few things, he begins. At this time, he is just about to start high school, and is alone. He tells about why, why he has no friends. Which is because, his best friend Micheal, killed himself the year before. This added to Charlies growing depression and social issues, making him more and more different from other people. First letter ends after explaining what happened after, how he and others were made to talk to the school councilor, you know, the normal stuff that happens to middle schoolers when something tragic happens around them.
Charlie goes on in letters, explaining his first few days of school and how he goes through class alone, only ever really talking to his teachers. One teacher in particular who see's something in Charlie that no one else seems to see. Bill, as Charlie calls him, lends Charlie out books and asks for essays throughout the year, which to some people would be a pain because it feels like more and more homework. But to Charlie, it was a favorite pass time.
Soon after school started, Charlie went to a football game, alone of course, not really knowing why he went but he went anyways. Finding a seat was difficult, that is until a boy who is in Charlies shop class, calls him over and makes him sit by him. His name is Patrick, known by this or as Nothing. literally Nothing, which Charlie refuses to call him so he sticks to calling him Patrick.
Patrick wasn't there alone, a girl named Sam sat by them, she was beautiful to Charlie. Not in a hot-beautiful kind of way, or a plain and simple kind of beautiful. To Charlie, she was something more.
Charlie cared for her, as he does everyone at first. Someone who he cared about greatly at the time, came to hate him for awhile there. His sister, a few years older than him, had been in a bad relationship. Her boyfriend at the time hit her, in front of Charlie. Only once, only ever once, but even once is never okay. Charlie kept quiet about it for awhile, only saying something about it when Bill asked him, he told Bill, who then went onto telling Charlies parents.
I will foreshadow for you though, to reassure that he is not always hated for is telling of the truth. His sister was mad at him, very mad, and took to seeing the boy in secret, but after awhile she forgave him.
To explain every detail would take forever, the book itself can not simply be explained in such a manner, you really should find time to read it, its truly great. So I will do a bit of fast-tracking here, okay?
After the game, Sam and Patrick invited Charlie to a party with them where one of there friends got Charlie high for the first time. Nothing bad or intense, only a simple pot-brownie which Charlie didn't get hurt from. Sam got mad and took care of Charlie, but in the end everyone seemed to like Charlie and he began to make new friends. This became his usual. Going to parties with Sam and Patrick, getting high, or drunk, or not doing anything like that cause he didn't feel like it.
Over time feelings for Sam were developed and Charlie was blunt about it and let Sam know. She understood and asked him to not feel that way about her because she didnt want to hurt him, Charlie tried to stop feeling that way, he really did, but that kind of stuff doesn't always work out.
We also find something else out which is really important, Patrick is gay! Not in a "I'm happy!" kind of gay, but as in he is homosexual. He even has a secret boyfriend, who has not come out as gay which is why everything they do is a secret. Patrick is with their schools quarter back, Brad. We only know this because Charlie walked in on the two kissing at a party once, Patrick then went on to asking Charlie to keep it a secret because the only people who knew were their friends, and that was it, they were the only people who could know at the time.
During part two of the book, not a ton of stuff happens, Christmas comes and goes. The group of friends put on a production of the Rocky Horror Show, which they have always put on, but this time they had money to print out the shows magazine, Punk Rocky, in color, courtesy of Charlie who gave that money as a gift to the girl who runs it.
Fast forward, ALOT, Charlie has done quite a bit of drugs now at this point, never becoming addicted to anything, only using stuff constantly at times to relieve himself of stress or his depression. Hes reactions to drugs are always different, having a bad trip only once. The first time he used LSD, he had been at a party, of course with Sam and Patrick. He was fine then, but later once he was home, he felt the need to write a letter. The letter was very sad and spoke of his feelings at the moment and even mentioned his Aunt Helen, who he had been very close with before her passing. He had finished the letter and went to sent it as soon as he could. The last thing he remember was mailing it at the post office in the middle of the night. He woke up in the hospital, he had fallen asleep in the snow and someone found him in the morning. He had then been told to start doing to see a therapist, which in the long run helped him a lot with remembering why he was such a sad person. But at the time he didn't see the need for it, but he continued to go.
Now, something which plays a large part in the story, are the relationships among the friends. Patrick has Brad, Sam has this guy who's name is Craig, and Charlie had not been dating anyone, that is until their school had a Sadie Hakening Dance. Where Charlie was asked to go, by their friend Mary Elizabeth. They had gone to the dance and had a lot of fun, they then continued to go out after the dance, even though Charlie was not sure of his feelings for her, which hurt them all in the end.
The friends had a small party, right before Easter break, they got together and had somethings to drink. All getting a little drunk, they began playing truth or dare. Now, this is were the bad and the hurt come in. Patrick had dared Charlie, to kiss, the prettiest girl in the room. Everyone had thought that for sure, Charlie would kiss Mary Elizabeth simply because thats a persons mind set when they are in a relationship. Instead, he kissed Sam, in front of everyone. This caused Craig to get mad, Mary to cry and Sam to run after her to console her, running off also because she was mad at Charlie. Patrick took Charlie home as soon as he could, getting him away from everyone. From that point, no one called him over the break. He tried to apologize to Mary, but he would let her. He was once again, alone.
This continued after the break, being alone in the halls at school hurt more than ever now because he had to see his old friends everywhere, the friends who he had once felt infinite with. Who now ignore him.
No one spoke for weeks, but one day something changed. Patrick got in a fight in the cafeteria, with Brad. Brad didn't want to hurt fight him, he really didn't, but he did with his football friends. Charlie knew what to do because his older brother had taught him how to defend himself. He jumped in and helped Patrick, not realizing what he was doing, Once all was over, they left, dealt with parents and the principal, then went for a smoke. Sam came up to thank him. He got told what happened, which was; Brad and Patrick got caught. By Brads father. They were not even allowed to act like friends after that. Brads dad beat him for being gay, while Patrick had become depressed from the discovery.
After that, things went back to normal between the friends.
From here, drama is not a key part anymore within the group of friends. Everything went back to normal, and a lot of Charlies friends began to plan for graduation and college, this was hard for Charlie because he wasn't going to see any of them next year.
Charlie managed to get through it, even with his growing sadness.
They made it through the end of school together, and Charlie watched as his friends and sister graduate.
After all the parties were done, all the suppers and goodbyes, Sam had to pack. She was leaving for school early, to take part in a program that she was offered. So the night before she left, Charlie stayed over. helping pack and keep her company after Patrick went to bed. That night they talked, and talking led to other things. Other things which were stopped by Charlie. They did not continue to do other things, because charlie was hit with an intense feeling of sadness and remembering. Sam then made him go to bed, unknowing on what was happening to Charlie.
They said goodbye the next day.
Then Charlie went home and laid on the couch, watching a T.V show, when the T.V was not on. He wrote a letter, he then blacked out.
Charlie woke up in the hospital.
Charlie writes about this, in the epilogue.
Its August now, and he has been in the hospital for over two months. In the mental ward, because of his situation. During his stay, they have discovered why exactly he was a sad person. Why he was depressed and why he had to stop that night with Sam. They discovered that, when he was younger his Aunt Helen, who had gone through a lot of horrible things, had done horrible things to him. He had been touched by her as a child and had put that out of his head, too young to keep the memories. His siblings were unaware of this happening to him, even though they were all babysat together by Aunt Helen. Their parents were even more shocked then anyone, horrified that they had Aunt Helen living with them, watching their kids, and never knowing about what she did.
Charlie was allowed to leave the hospital after the two months, he was glad, he could see his friends for more then little visits. He had seen them lots, but never for very long because they weren't allowed to stay very long.
After he was released and getting better, and he was then starting his second year of high school, Charlie never wrote another letter to his friend.
Thank you for listening to me talk about Charlies story, the way Charlie had talked about his.
Charlie, as odd as he is, is liked by those who get to know him. He is always kind and considerate towards others, knowing how to act towards others depending on what that person is like at the time.
For Charlie, its hard sometimes. Being a teenager is hard enough, but a teenager with depression who doesn't know why he has depression and having friends who are unaware of that depression, that's hard. Add on, being a very reserved person who isn't great at communicating and expressing emotion, when his friends are very out going and fun, makes it even harder. Yet through it all, Charlie manages to pull through and keep it together as long as he can.
In the end, the only way to describe Charlie, is that he is a wallflower.
What I liked about the book;
what would I change?
But, that is if I had the option to change stuff. This is only if I had the choice, to change or walk away.
In the case that I had to change something, no choice or say about it, I would have changed the fact that Charlie and Sam, never truly were together. Relationship wise. I wanted them throughout the book to get together and be happy, even though there was reasons that they didn't, and because they didn't, things happened. But their being together or not does effect the ending, and that's why the only reason I would change that is by force, not choice, because everything in the story matters in the end.
Book VS Movie
The movie had many quotes and direct dialogue from the book, which was great. It brought to life many scenes which were monumental in the book, that make the book what it is. The characters were well portrayed and were brought to life in a way that I was happy with.
In the end, I feel that the movie owns up to the book, which is rare for me to say.