The Perks Of Being A Wallflower: A Story About Maturation

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Everyone has sadness and fear but if we pass them we will become truly happy. This story is “The perks of being a Wallflower” gives the reader as Charlie during maturation. This story talks about when Charlie met to drugs, sexuality, and friendship while struggling through his freshman year of high school. These involves meeting new people and going through conflicts he has never seen before.

In Stephen Chbosky’s novel, the main character is Charlie and he grow from naivety to knowing about sexuality. The beginning of book Charlie is very naïve. For example, When Sam invites Charlie comes to her room to see the typewriter she bought for him for Christmas. At that time, Sam asks Charlie “ Did you kiss a girl, yet “ and he said “no”. This proves sexuality is not comfortable with Charlie (70). His annoying monk manifested from the viewpoint of being uncomfortable about the school dances: “ At school dances, he sit in the background..”. Again, this shows he joins dances alone. Charlie is very naive in the story. To explain, when Candace is hit by her boyfriend. Charlie keeps quite because he mistook his friendship with his sister more important than her health, as “he wound up and hit her hard across the face, he was the boy that made mix tapes with themes and hand-colored covers until he hit my sister and stopped the crying…”. This is a naïve example of Charlie because he does not realize the serious actions of Candace’s boyfriend (11).

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Next, in a similar case when Charlie attends his first party with Sam and Patrick. He ate the brownie but he doesn’t know and he is considering that they may be filled with pot (35). Charlie also faces conflict between him and Mary Elizabeth. His conflict with Mary Elizabeth is demonstrated by how one-sided his relationship is. Furthermore, Charlie struggles to have a meaning conversation with Mary Elizabeth. This is seen through a phone conversation “ The only thing he can say that is “yes” or “no”, he put phone down and go to the washroom and when he comes back she is still talking “ (135). Mary Elizabeth is loving Charlie but Charlie wants to be friend with her. This is problematic as Charlie is too timid while the breakup is more prominent. So this creates tension between their friendship. Charlie’s inability to do things for himself further contributes to his internal conflict. He does things which makes people feel happy but he does not do for himself. For example, Charlie is not able to do everything alone when he appeases Patrick. Patrick kiss Charlie and say good night even although Charlie is not interested with this action. “ Although Charlie is not gay but he still allows Patrick doing that because Charlie does not want Patrick more sad anymore” (201). Furthermore, one time Charlie started smoking and skipping class solely make Sam and Patrick happy by spending more time with them and knowing that skipping school and smoking are unacceptable behaviors.

Charlie has two epiphanies concerning his conflicts. His involvement with Mary Elizabeth in a game is to let Charlie know that Patrick dared to kiss the prettiest girl in the room. “ He knows if he kisses Elizabeth that he will lie to everybody and he can not do it anymore.” Charlie knows the fake feeling will not help anyone, including himself (135). After that he experiences catharsis by kissing Sam instead of Mary Elizabeth acknowledging his true feelings for Sam. Charlie relies on him being unable to do everything by himself when Sam gives him a lecture about being more self-sufficient. “ He realized that he should only do what he wants and if Sam does not like it then she could just say…” This shows that Charlie has become more self-reliant because he does not care how Sam feeling but rather what he feels (202).

By the end of the novel, Charlie is more aware and experienced. An example of his new perceptions when he reflects on his ability to control his destiny. He believes that “ We don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things and we can try to feel okay about them”(211). Additionally, At the end of the book, he is aware that Patrick’s experiences with Sam will affect his life and the way he changes from meeting and interacting with them. They touch him many things as how to be a good friend and to think for himself. Furthermore, Charlie had more experience about his sexuality. This shows when he allows he true feeling for Sam. His sexual experiences resulted in a failed relationship with Mary Elizabeth, his first crush, first kiss, and attraction to Sam.

To sum up, Charlie has increased the awareness and confidence to control his future, including the relationships he joins in, demonstrate his character’s maturity through the novel. The perks of being a Wallflower of Stephen Chbosky shows the reader an important message: embrace differences, since life is about overcoming fears and challenges to become as happy as possible.    


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