Last Updated 07 Jul 2020

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Novel Analysis

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Worksheet: Novel analysis Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower Author: Stephen Chbosky Genre: Epistolary novel Nationality: American The publication year: 1999 Information about the author: Stephen Chbosky was born January 25th in 1970. He is an American writer and film director, and is best known for The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Stephen was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is of Polish, Slovak, Irish and Scottish descent. Chbosky graduated in 1988 from Upper St. Clair High School. The story: The narrator of the novel is a teenage boy by the alias Charlie.

He tells his story through a series of letters he writes to an anonymous “friend” he heard about at school and thought would be a nice person to write to, based on the fact that he or she reportedly hadn’t slept with someone at a party despite having the opportunity to do so. Charlie explains his fears, problems joys and secrets to this stranger. The story starts by Charlie telling about his anxieties about starting High School the next day. He tells about how his life has been after one of his friends committed suicide, and after his favourite aunt, Helen, died. Charlie is a socially awkward boy.

He doesn’t really know how to interact with people his age. He is what we call a “Wallflower”; someone who’s always on the side, observing others, never being in the centre of things. While struggling with insecurities, friendships and his family, a couple of High school seniors, Patrick and Sam, befriend him, and brings him into their little group. His new friends expose him to a new world of sex, drugs, love, patries, death, relationships, friendship, lying, and culpability. Throughout the novel, Charlie is changed from an innocent wallflower whose life was digging his ose in books, to an adventurous person who learns that life should be lived not watched. A sub story to what happens in this book is also that Charlie’s teacher from advanced English class keeps assigning him books to read and then write reports on. He only does this with Charlie. (Being a “wallflower”: an ability to observe from the sideline and understand things. ) I think the theme of this book is that active participation is better than passive, and that you should live your life and participate and pursue your dreams rather than stand on the sidelines and watch the action. This story also covers topics like adolescence, drug use etc.

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Some quotes to support my opinion of the theme: “Do you always think this much Charlie? ” “Is that bad? ” “Not necessarily, It’s just that sometimes people use thought to not participate in life. ” “Is that bad? ” “Yes. ” “Maybe these are my glory days, and I’m not even realizing it because they don’t involve a ball. ” I liked this novel a lot because it portrays the confusion of being a teenager, the stigma of being “weird” and “different” than others, how the things that happen to us during childhood have a way of never leaving us and because it tells us that life is to be spent living, not dreaming of it.

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