Passivity vs. Passion in the Perks of Being a Wallflower

1658 Words Dec 9th, 2006 7 Pages
Passivity Vs. Passion The Perks of Being a Wallflower is by no means a typical narrative. Taking the form of an epistolary novel presented as a series of letters from a boy who calls himself Charlie, but notes that he will change names and minor details so for the sake of his anonymity, the short novel tackles themes such as pedophilia, drug use, depression, abortion and many more complex issues. Stuck in the middle of the mix is a young boy who certainly is not the archetypal protagonist, the novel's wallflower. Subjected to witness the hardships of those around him, he rarely goes out on a limb to achieve much gratification for himself, remaining socially dormant instead. However, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, author Stephen …show more content…
This novel parallels Charlie's psyche early in the book extremely well in that he is much like the character who is the focus of the book, Boo Radley: shy, misunderstood, and original. In the midst of his conversation over the book, Bill encourages Charlie to stop observing others so much and to start participating. Charlie shares this problematic social symptom with Boo Radley, though he never before had looked at himself as an outsider. This suggestion leads to an uncharacteristic gap of two weeks between letters , which Charlie apologizes for. However in the next letter, Charlie is very excited to share the news that while participating he made two new friends: Sam and Patrick. Patrick is a senior boy in Charlie's shop class, and Sam is Patrick's stepsister whom Charlie sees as being unconventionally beautiful. For the remainder of the novel, Patrick is not only a great friend to Charlie, but also he provides counsel that is very necessary, as Charlie is only just beginning to participate. While in Patrick's pickup truck, the three of them listen to Blackbird by the Beatles. The song features lyrics that say "spread your wings and fly," which is essentially what Charlie has set out to do. After having heard the song, Charlie states that it he "feels infinite," and that after hearing the song with his two new friends, he felt as if five minutes of his
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