The Perks Of Being A Wallflower Summary
We are introduced to Charlie, a shy intelligent and observant lad trying to cope with the suicide of one of his best friends, Michael and the death of his aunt. To help cope he starts writing letters of his own life to a stranger entailing the stresses of his endures.
In the following year, Charlie is trying the treacherous territory of high school. The possibilities of dates and mixtapes, family drama and new friends; and the realities and pleasures of the world: drugs, sex, and music.
A teacher notices Charlie’s passion for writing and decides to mentor him. Charlie is what we call a wallflower but despite his shyness, he is befriended by two seniors Patrick and his stepsister Sam. Charlie grows fond of Sam and soon admits his feelings to her. We find out a little of Sam’s history before she gives Charlie his first kiss. Meanwhile, Patrick and Brad (a football player) are dating in secret.
Ironically Charlie’s witnesses his own sister being abused by her boyfriend. She urges him not to tell but he does anyway and she drifts from her brother and still continued to see her boyfriend. It is later revealed that his sister is pregnant! Charlie helps her sneak into an abortion clinic unknowingly to their parents. The two soon grow close again.
Patrick and Brad’s relationship is discovered by Brad’s father and we miss him in the story for a few days. When he returns he is hash towards Patrick. Patrick tries to rekindle the relationship but Brad instead questions Patrick’s sexuality causing Patrick to attack Brad. Patrick is ganged up on by the rest of the football team. Charlie jumps in to protect his friend and ends up breaking up the fight.
As the year ends Sam and Charlie begin to get sexual after discovering that Sam’s boyfriend was cheating on her and Charlie fully admitting his feelings for her. As soon as things got heated he is forced to stop Sam. Memories of his molestation by the hands of his Aunt Helen flood his consciousness, Charlie suffered from PTSD of the incident and is rendered into a catatonic state forcing him to be admitted to a mental hospital.
In two months time, he is released and is met by his friends Sam and Patrick.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower contrasts between passivity and passion. Through the fictional character Charlie, Stephen Chbosky can relate a deep affectionate story that is unique, hilarious yet devastation; it will rejuvenate your spirit and cause you to reimage those loving memories of childhood, which for some reason, we always remember better than they were.
Fun fact: Stephen Chbosky wrote and directed the feature film adaptation of his novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
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