Analysis of the Perks of Being a Wallflower

Topics: Interpersonal relationship, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Novel Pages: 3 (1014 words) Published: July 28, 2013
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Chbosky, Stephen: Pocket Books UK, 2009) is a novel set sometime in the 1990’s, and focuses on the life of Charlie, a troubled fifteen year old boy who is just trying to find his place in the world. The book is written in the form of letters written from Charlie to an unknown ‘friend’. Many controversial issues are dealt with throughout the course of the novel but Chbosky writes in such a way that makes the book and its characters relatable and likable. Charlie, the protagonist, is a high school freshman, and is painfully shy and introverted. He is innocent and naïve, sometimes to the point of ignorance. Charlie has faced many difficulties throughout his short life, most notably the death of his beloved Aunt Helen and the recent suicide of his only friend Michael. He does not, however, wallow in self-pity and seek the reader’s sympathy. This makes Charlie an extremely likable character. His sensitivity and simple-mindedness appeals to the reader and helps to engage them with the story. At the beginning of the novel, Charlie is reluctant and cautious, content with being a ‘wallflower’, as he has been his entire life. A major thinker, Charlie has always lived inside his head, observing and analysing those around him but never participating in life. He is extremely intelligent and this is recognised by his English teacher, Bill. Charlie develops a close relationship with Bill, who becomes a trusted confidante to the troubled youth. Bill notices that Charlie is a loner, and encourages him to ‘participate’ more in life. This encouragement leads the way to Charlie discovering that there is a whole realm of possibilities beyond the world he occupies in his head. Charlie’s new-found enthusiasm for life also stems from the support he receives from his new friends, step-siblings Sam and Patrick. Sam and Patrick are seniors and expose Charlie to a world he never knew existed. Sam is a confident, outspoken individual who is kind and...
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