The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou Love is often perceived as a lustful emotion, one that can cause irrational behavior. However, it can also be a force for good, helping individuals “find themselves” while maturing and forging new relationships. Both types of love are demonstrated in Stephen Chbosky’s novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Throughout the novel, Charlie, a young high school freshman, experiences unrequited love and infatuation for one of his new friends, Sam. Charlie explains, “I’m really trying not to think of her that way, which is becoming increasingly difficult. To tell you the truth, I love Sam” (Chbosky 47). Sam, however, gently reminds Charlie on several occasions that they can never date because of their age difference. Because of this, Charlie has to maintain self-control whenever he is around her, which stifles his true emotions even more than he already does on his own as an introverted person. Unfortunately, he is then not able to express his true identity to someone he likes and trusts. However, throughout the novel, Sam presents intimate possibilities between her and Charlie and therefore ends up sending him mixed messages about pursuing a relationship with her. New York Times writer, Daniel Goleman, explains in his article “Pains of Unrequited Love Afflicts the Rejecter, Too” the same issue of the rejecter possibly sending mixed messages when he says,“The inability to tell an undesired suitor
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