The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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The Perks of Being A Wallflower was written in 1999 by Stephen Chbosky for the publishers of MTV Books. The particular edition I read has 256 pages and is considered an epistolary novel, meaning it is composed of documents such as letters. In this case the letters are written by the narrator to a friend. The story takes place in a Pittsburg suburb in the early 1990s. Charlie the protagonist is a freshman in high school and is struggling with his adolescence. He begins to write these anonymous letters to help him cope with his best friends recent suicide. The only good friends Charlie develops in the book are a brother and sister, Patrick and Sam. While some would say the antagonists in the book are only Charlie’s vices, such as drugs, abuse and self-hate, there are some less defined ones. Brad and Craig who were both in relationship with his best friends who hurt them which ultimately hurt Charlie. Upon making friends with Sam and Pat he is introduced into a world of drinking, drug experimentation, sex and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It is modern day novel of a “messed of teenager” like in The Catcher in the Rye. Throughout the novel, Charlie manages his depression but is hunted by faint realization of his beloved late Aunt Helen, being kissed by his homosexual friend and helping his sister through an abortion. Progressively in the book Charlie reads and writes papers on books that his English assigns him outside of class, because he sees that Charlie is a bright boy with some inner troubles. This is how Charlie begins to open up. Many allusions are made to others books, such as, To Kill a Mockingbird, This Side of Paradise and On The Road. The reader would find that Charlie lives his life on a song-to-song basis. He is a mix tape fanatic and uses songs to define his situation. He would define his life personally by the word “infinite”. He wants to become it, and feels the only way of doing so is seeing things, keeping quite about them and understanding....
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