The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky captures the life of the protagonist Charlie in a series of diaries written to an anonymous friend. The novel explores many of the issues teenagers face as they progress through the freshman year of high school. Charlie struggles to find his identity as he first begins to experience relationship problems, peer influences and communal drug use. Throughout the stages of Charlie’s adolescence, his reckless decisions and lack of knowledge towards society leads to inappropriate behaviors and undesirable outcomes; however these experiences mature him and ultimately allows him to discover his true self through the difficult progression towards adulthood.
One of the greatest progressions Charlie takes towards adulthood is when he discovers himself in an unanticipated relationship with Mary Elizabeth. Although Charlie does not show any true affection for her, anxiety takes over him when she asks him out to a dance; thus begins their relationship. Soon, Charlie begins to despise how one-sided the relationship had become and “that’s when [he] chose to be honest. By the time [he] had knelt down in front of Sam and kissed her, the silence was unbearable” (Chbosky 135). When Charlie finally decides to confess his true feelings, he chooses the wrong approach which demonstrates his character to be ignorant and rash. (Charlie’s actions demonstrate complete and utter betrayal towards Mary Elizabeth and ) although they reflect his true feelings, his friends show great disapproval towards him (alienate him as Patrick warns Charlie to stay away for a while.) This becomes one of the most critical events (contributing to the development of Charlie’s character and personality changes from adolescence to adultery, allowing him to feel more passionate about romance.) “That’s when [Charlie] realized that [he] really loved [her]” (200); justifies that he finally understands the necessity of pursuing his true love instead of...
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