The year of high school. After the death

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a movie based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky. The focus is on a socially awkward teen, Charlie, struggling to fit in in his first year of high school. After the death of his aunt, who molested Charlie as a child, and the death of his best friend’s suicide, Charlie experiences heartache, and sorrow. Charlie has a had a hard time with finding out who he is and who he wants to be entering his freshman year of high school. The Perks of Being a Wallflower can be considered a great movie because Stephen Chbosky focuses on how Charlie represents one of many teens struggling with self-identity.   Charlie, is the narrator of the story and everything is told through his perspective through journal entries to his unnamed friend. In the beginning of the movie, the first journal entry we see is, “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad, and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” This sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Charlie is most fascinated in understanding himself in his life of misfortune. This quote is so significant because Charlie is trying to come to terms with his feelings of both happy and sad and come to an agreement so that he can figure out who he is as a person. Throughout Charlie’s freshman year, he befriends a group of seniors who expose him to friendship, sex, drugs, arguments, and alcohol. These friends, specifically, Sam and Patrick play the most significant role in Charlie’s character development. They encourage him to be free outside of his comfort zones. They also are similar to Charlie, liking the same taste in music, the same style etc., Sam and Patrick help Charlie realize his hidden self-actualization, and guide him to see what friendship and youth is all about. A memorable scene is when Charlie’s new friends invite him to his first ever house party. When they arrived, Charlie was taken back by all the upperclassmen and his first exposure to drugs and alcohol. At the party, Charlie says, “And I remembered that Sam introduced me as her friend to Bob. And I remembered that Patrick had done the same for Brad. And I started to cry.” This scene best shows the first encounter of Charlie’s friendship development and realizing other people are just like him. Charlie realizes that he is actually normal and that he is considered a friend to someone, something that he has never felt before. They made a toast to him for reasons that Charlie couldn’t understand. He assumed it was because they thought he was special because he heard things and listened. After this night, his identity seemed to become clearer to him, or at least that he knew where his social status lied, and that gave him the feeling of comfort in his own skin.   After one big argument with Sam and Patrick, they told Charlie to “stay away” for a while. After feeling accepted for a period of time, something he hasn’t felt in a while, he begins to self doubt again. He writes to his anonymous friend that he is “getting bad again.” Because of Charlie’s loyalness, he couldn’t stay away, he needed to know if they were still friends or not. He constantly called Sam and Patrick but no answer. Since his friends werent talking to him, Charlie felt rejected and hopless. He begins to have flashbacks of his aunts and friends death. These flashbacks cause Charlie to have a mental break down and end up in the hospital. At this point, this is Charlie’s lowest point as a character. This can be considered rock bottom for Charlie. However, when Sam and Patrick find out about his hospitalization, they instantly see if he is okay, something that Charlie needed. Charlie realizes that Sam and Patrick actually do care about him and still accept him even if he did have a mental break down. At the end of the movie, Charlie still doesn’t entirely know who he is but he is on the road to answering his own question, “Who am I?”. What makes this book and film so interesting is that it can show when people find their right friends and connect with people they like, they will be accepted for who they are. It also shows the struggles that some teens might be going through in reality, such as acceptance, self actualization, etc. It gives a sense of hope to people who feel as though they aren’t good enough for society. It represents that the pain of mental illness can be suppressed by wanting to treat it in the right way. Chbosky made a significant point that people can only blossom when they step out of their comfort zone, rather than isolating themselves from new experiences.      


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