The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

2117 Words May 9th, 2016 9 Pages
Alex Eubanks
Mrs. Hallstrom
Honors English One
9 May 2016
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky as a Critique of Social Issues in the 1990s Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower captures not only the essence of the 1990s but also critiques the problems society faced during this time period. The brief but powerful New York Times Bestseller is written in the form of multiple letters sent to an unknown recipient that detail the life of a high school student known to the reader simply as Charlie. This writing style is consistent with the “self-reflexive acknowledgement of a text’s own status as constructed…” that is common in postmodern texts (Nicol, “The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodern Fiction”). Because the novel is written in the first person, Chbosky is able to effectively use Charlie’s eyes and mind to project criticisms of popular culture. Charlie’s introverted but observant and analytic characteristics that make him a wallflower also make him a perfect tool with which the author can depict and comment on society. The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s critique of the zeitgeist of the 1990s, most notably in regard to the rise of standardized education, the objectification of women, and homophobia allows the reader to gain a more multi-faceted view of opposing viewpoints within the time period.
Within The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, subtle criticism is brought to the changes in education that occurred in the 1990s. According…

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