Perks of Being a Wallflower

“And all the books you’ve read have been read by other people. And all the songs you’ve loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that’s pretty to you is pretty to other people. And you know that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing “unity. ” (p. 96). “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” written by Stephen Chbosky was published by MTV books and Pocket Books on February 1st, 1999. It’s classified as Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction and Epistolary novel. Epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents.
Anne Frank is a type of Epistolary novel. Unlike Anne Frank, this one is written in form of letters, not a diary. In this novel you can see how “Charlie’s” life changes throughout his freshman year. How he deals with all the problems he faced, he faces, and he’ll face. In a unknown setting, the novel begins August 1991 with a teenage boy going by the alias “Charlie”, writing to an anonymous friend. “I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have.
I need to know that these people exist. ” (p. 2). He heard someone at school talking about this anonymous friend, and he thought it would be someone nice to talk to. He specifically asks this friend to not try to find his true identity. Charlie has begun his freshman year while his brother is at Pennsylvania State University and his sister is at her senior year. We learn that his best friend, and only friend, committed suicide before he started writing these letters, leaving Charlie alone in high school.

His favorite person in the world, his aunt, also died when he was 7 years old. He states repeatedly that something bad happened to her, but he doesn’t mention what, because it brings him to a bad place. After she died he doesn’t remember his life for a year, and he had been “different” ever since. As he starts freshman year, he is an outcast, until he meets Sam and Patrick. They introduce him to an electric, open-minded, hard-partying life, and soon Charlie starts enjoying his life. “And at that moment, I swear we were infinite. ” (p. 39).
Experiences that Charlie and his family and friends go through and the topics explored throughout the novel include suicide, difficult/abusive relationships, drug use/smoking, sex, abortion, child abuse/trauma, the struggles of homosexuality, and the awkward times of adolescence, such as first kisses and first girlfriends. Charlie is a troubled teenage boy. He is insecure and shy, because he just lost his best friend, and doesn’t know to deal with school alone. Since the death of his aunt, which he takes the blame, [“Despite everything my mom and doctor and dad have said to me about blame, I can’t stop thinking what I know.
And I know that my aunt Helen would still be alive today if she just bought me one present like everyone else. ” (p. 92)], he has been different, sort of out of sync. He’s very sentimental, and he analyzes everything too much. Every tiny detail, is a big deal for him. He loves music and literature. His teacher gives him books to read and write bout, such as To Kill a Mocking Bird. His aunt molested him at the age of 7, but he never told anyone, because he loved so very much.

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New York University
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