The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This modern, coming-of-age novel written by Stephen Chbosky follows the teenage life of a new freshman named Charlie. Through his letters to a mysterious stranger, readers follow his typical and not-so-typical experiences as he learns about friendship, relationships, sexuality, drugs, and everything that teenagers are often faced with growing up. Charlie gives insight into the non-glamorous life of a so-called “wallflower”. The use of “Point of View” in this novel not only creates the entire story line, but also adds a personal affect and relatable connection between Charlie and the reader. It is seen through his letters, and the way he writes them.
As a contemporary-fiction novel, it is only fitting that such a story be written in an unusual way. This particular writing style, in the form of personal letters, is what is seen in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It is a novel entirely written in first-person narrative. Charlie describes his life, through his eyes only, and there is no other perspective shown. For example, Charlie elaborates on the home of his new friend during Christmastime as; “I can paint a picture for you if you like. We are sitting in Sam and Patrick’s house, which I had never seen before. It was a rich house. Very clean. And were all giving our final presents. The outside lights were on, and it was snowing, and it looked like magic. Like we were somewhere else. Like we were someplace better” (Chbosky 64). In this line, there is a sense of how Charlie feels about where he is, and no one else. As far as it’s known, perhaps Patrick despised everything about winter, and did not think that the scenery of his home looked like someplace better. However, since only Charlie describes in this way, this is how the moment is perceived, as someplace magical and sparkling. Being able to follow only Charlie’s feelings makes the story easier to comprehend and analyze, as well as being able to relate to.
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