The Perks of Being a Wallflower Literary Analysis

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Literature III The Perks of Being a Wallflower
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Myca Canicula, Jean Ignacio, Sunshine Ilustrado 9 May 2013

How the author used symbolism to reveal the characterof Charlie in Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower

In Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the character of Charlie, the protagonist, was revealed through the use of symbolism and imagery. The tunnel, the Rocky Horror Picture Show and dancing were used to show the readers how Charlie got into the moment and not just watch life from the sidelines and how he realized the value of friendship and family.

It all started when Fifteen-year-old Charlie is coping with the suicide of his friend, Michael. To lessen the fear and anxiety of starting high school alone, Charlie starts writing letters to a stranger, someone he heard was nice but has never met in person.

During the course of the school year, Charlie has his first date and his first kiss, he deals with bullies, he experiments with drugs and drinking, and he makes friends, loses them, and gains them back. He creates his own soundtrack through a series of mix tapes full of iconic songs, reads a huge stack of classic books, and gets involved in the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” audience-participation culture.

Charlie's final letter closes with feelings of hope: getting released from the hospital, forgiving his aunt Helen for what she did to him, finding new friends during sophomore year, and trying his best not to be a wallflower. Charlie hopes to get out of his head and into the real world, participating in life instead of just watching it fly by.

Charlie travels through literal tunnels three times during the story. The first and third, he is with his friends, but when Charlie travels through the tunnel the second time, he is alone. This gave him time to reflect on the life he has been “living”. Tunnels can mean different...
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