Second Book Response
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The perks of being a wallflower is a story about an adolescent chronically timid young man named Charlie and his journey through the days of a young adultery. Through love, relationships, sex, drugs, loss and all the things in between, This book to me is not just your average read it’s different from most stories this is real! Based off real things people experience in their lifetime! It explores the aspects of sexual assault between a young man and a family member which in this case is his aunt.

Whom he lost when he was a young child as she went to town to buy Charlie a birthday present she crashed her car and died. He’s now torn between the trauma of the assault he’s kept repressed for all his teenage life up till now. And the grief he carries inside of him everyday because he believed it was his fault on her death….On his story through his young life mental health holds Charlie back from pursuing in things he wants to do eventually developing and learning to outcome his shyness. Later on making friends with a beautiful girl called Sam and her homosexual step brother Patrick, who help Charlie to explore the things most adolescent teenagers experience at the age. Sam expresses to Charlie how she was sexually assaulted to.

The story shifts to Charlie having a mental break down with an almost attempted suicide causing him to end up in hospital and coming clean to his family and friends about his sexual assault and post-traumatic stress about his experience. He is given therapy to help him deal with the issues, this story has a lot to do with suicide and emotion, Charlies best friend killed himself, Charlie had to deal with this along with starting high school, sexual assault, grief, anxiety how does one cope with this? It shows us what pain lives within him every day.

To me this book is a heartbreaking story which opens up to deep things people are not usually comfortable talking about, its beautifully sad to me it exposes truth within a person’s pain to me some things is the story i personally relate to though the acts of shyness and anxiety and pain.

This story shows me everyone hits a point in there life where they feel pain some feel it everyday some feel it rarely sometimes it can be a constant struggle we never really know truly how someone feels inside, you could look at someone and think wow they are smiling they look happy but in reality that person is in pain mentally and the people on the outside will never know this.

this is what the book makes me think that people mask their pain and keep in bottled up inside the shelves in their minds, until it been kept locked up for so long it comes pouring out at some stage when it all gets too much to mentally withhold. I did shed a few tears through out parts of the story as certain parts triggered my emotions and reminded me of my own personal experiences. This story also makes me feel sympathetic towards people who have experienced a thing so horrific like sexual assault, loss and grief it seems like a hard thing to cope with from descriptions in the story such as when Charlie said “Candice, I killed Aunt Helen, didn’t I? She died getting my birthday present, so I guess I killed her, right? I tried to stop thinking that, but I can’t. She keeps driving away and dying and I can’t stop her. Am I crazy, Candace?,” it clearly shows how much pain her death caused him to make him think it was his fault. How the incident with his aunt caused Charlie post-traumatic stress and other issues.

I personally know people who have been a victim of sexual assault and not told family or friends but write about it online through an anonymous account on social media. Because it seems they just can’t hold it in anymore it’s their way of catharsis. From what I’ve seen from personal friends of mine not a lot of people open up about their personal violation, grief and feelings towards a certain event or thing. But I believe this has left a scar on Charlie’s soul something that won’t ever be forgotten about, it will bother him and be a reminder of his pain he endured not just about the assault but the loss of his aunt to, I personally relate to this I think I also have a painful memory or thing engraved into my mind that reminds me of pain I have endured before i personally think everyone needs an outlet for the pain, as for Charlie his way of catharsis is by writing letters there not addressed to anyone specifically but he always tries to write about things that happen in his life and how he feels about it as an outlet of his pain.

In the story the quote “He is a wallflower you see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand” – Patric. This quote is definitely different from anything I have heard before but wallflower means “A shy or excluded person at a dance or party especially a girl without a partner” I think this quote is linked to what Charlie has seen in his life, for example at the beginning of the book he saw his sister get hit by her boyfriend and she told him to keep quiet and say nothing. He understood why she said this because she liked him and didn’t want her parents to find out, or else she would not be able to see him again, this quote relates to most things that occur in the story i believe he stands back and watches everything happen. But may or may not understand why things happen to people the way they do because of his age i believe or because he has not eexperienced enough yet to fully understand certain things.

I feel this way to I’m shy I sit back and I watch the world go by, I’ve seen things I didn’t want to see before, I never said anything about what I had seen/heard/etc. But sometimes I didn’t understand the reasons for the event to take place, sometimes I did understand even if I didn’t want to. That’s why I believe I understand the quote from this text.

Another quote from the text Charlie says “some people really do have it a lot worse than i do” Charlie said this when he heard about some home truths about his aunt Helen and when she came to live with Charlie and his family. They said she went through something bad and not to ask about what happened, eventually Charlie’s mother spilled the truth when she was tipsy on white wine. the book never actually revealed what had happened but it must have been bad for him to say the things he did. And i personally agree with his statement that yes i know people who have it alot worse than me. My life may be hard but people have it worse i thought school work ,social life, mental issues,a broken home was hard but i know people who have had it worse a lot worse, this quotes makes me feel grateful for the things i have like a house, loving people, food, water and more.

The third quote I found was Charlie saying ”  If my Aunt Helen were still here, I could talk to her. And I know she would understand how I am both happy and sad, and I’m still trying to figure out how could that be” I think Charlie says this because of his love for his aunt, but in a way I am confused by this because he conceals the memories of abuse with his deep love toward her. But feels empathetic towards her due to her own child hood problems, (which the reader never finds out about what she went through) but when he says he thinks she would understand, I believe he thinks this because he knows her own personal issues she had, and believed she had the wisdom due to her personal experiences.

When he says “I am both happy and sad , and I am still trying to figure out how could that be” I think he says this because he is confused. He does not know how to control his emotions because he’s compressed his feelings towards his aunt. As I stated before its left a mark on him that will never go away, this is why I think he is sad as well as happy. And maybe he doesn’t know why because he’s kept everything so compressed over his young life so far its confusing how he feels, but I personally believe we all have that one person we believe would understand our struggles due to the persons personal experiences in their life time. I personally rely on my boyfriend when I tell him things I know he would understand no matter what it is because I trust him 100 percent as Charlie trusted his aunt.

To conclude my over all thoughts on the book i think the writer has made a very realistic story, I believe he may have written the story he did to help reach out to anyone who has gone through anything similar. And the writer is showing readers how the main Character Charlie copes with all the stresses that comes with life, and teaches others possibly how to be more confident and over come things, and or he’s made the story because he knows someone who’s gone through a few struggle’s in life Or and is dedicating it to a person close to the writer. Or he may be the one the story is based off, and the things in the story are related to his personal experiences in his life time and its a way of him using catharsis.

I personally believe that this story is reaching out and teaching people how hard and challenging life can be and what others experience and relating back to the quote “some people really do have it a lot worse than i do” comparing his personally challenges to the readers” i fell like reading this story this quote is true to me and i understand, I felt so happy and grateful for the things i have and not to dwell on negative situations or thing this story has opened my eyes to a more positive way of looking at life’s hard situations it throws my way.

I feel like a relate to the main character Charlie he is portrayed as a shy anxious teenager who’s not as good as other at making friends, i fell like i am a female version of Charlie in the story he’s learned ways of being a more confident person, through the help of friends and i have personally done the same when i moved schools i was so scared to make friends and didn’t think i would make any. And i would be alone but i challenged myself just like Charlie did and i met a lovey bunch of friends who have taught me how to be less timid and introverted, this is why i think i have a deeper link to the main character Charlie and the whole story line of the challenge’s life has to offer, i think he was this way because of his traumatic past, it brings attention to issues that need to be addressed because it could cause someone to commit suicide as it did to Charlie issues like what Charlie went through need to be addressed it opens up truth about what its like for a young person like him.






Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hi Shawna. Firstly, could you please re-read through this response and add punctuation breaks/pauses (and words where necessary) so that all of your ideas are clear?

    When you give your first set of personal responses to the text, it would be beneficial for you to include supportive quotations in places. I.e. You state: “from descriptions in the story” but in this paragraph, there are no specific examples from the text.


Respond now!