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Why Do We Need Friends. Analysis of the Novel Perks of Being a Wallflower.

8 pages
1961 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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In the society we need one another I the various circumstances, a friend, a person who you have an affection and bond, is what we all need. A friend is the one we neen on in case of a problem, to seek physical, emotional and psychological assistances; and at the same time we tend to have fun with and enjoy life with them. Though the analysis of the novel Perks of Being a Wallflower, it will be realized that Chbosky has clearly shown why we need friends. Using Charlie as the main protagonist of the play, Perks of Being a Wallflower has emerged to be an emotional coming of age story; where Charlie is a teenage boy joining the high school as a freshman and trying to manage his psychological state with friends, life, sexuality, and death. Chobosky offered justice to his work by describing the entire concerns through the eyes of the shy introvert teen; this made the readers to be stunned, surprised and grateful at the same time when joining Charlie in his path of growing up and realization. The Charlies friends in the novel influenced him to get exposed to the world of high school dances, parties, drugs, dates, sexuality and friendship. Particularly, Brad, Patrick, and Sam assisted Charlie to see the perks of being a Wallflower. The rest of this essay seeks to reveal how the topic on role of friendship is seen in various circumstances of the novel through the characters theme as well as the social condition that is revealed.

Charlie is sexual traumatized with molestation that he underwent while with Aunt Helen, at the same time Charlie is being depresses with previous dark episodes that he experienced in his life. He was emotionally weak and had challenges with coping up with the normal life, his depression made him use drugs when he had no friend to hold to. Charlie uses friends to ease the pain of his emotional and psychological vulnerability.

Friendship for psychological therapy

The novel mainly focuses on the series of the letter that Charlie composed to his anonymous friend and the entire story is narrated from Charles's standpoint. By admitting to the anonymous friend recipient of the letters on his life experience Charlie confidently takes part fully in his real life (Chbosky 23). Despite the fact that the anonymous friend did not reply to his letter, Charlie did not mind and still went ahead to write more until he came out from his depressing psychological state. The anonymous friend was significant towards psychological therapy as he comes in terms with the real life,

Friendship for maternal support

Charlie had two siblings who made him feel like he is invisible. There is a veiled resentment in the tone used by Charlie when explaining his brother and sister. Charlies brother is a former school football star who at the moment was a player at the Penn State (Chbosky 17). Towards the end, they manage to form a mutual bond with one another than Charlie always desired. Charlie wanted to have a family member who is close so that he can feel some comfort while with him while at home instead of feeling being lonely.

Charlies sister is a high school senior student too who is experiencing an abusive relationship. The friendship that Charlie had with his sister made him confront his sisters boyfriend but it was in vein. But Charlie seeks other means to help his sister to battle with an abusive relationship. Their friendship went to an extend where Charlie assisted his sister to get abortion after realizing that she is pregnant, Charlie took the responsibility of carrying her sister to the hospital (Chbosky 23). The friendship that Charlies sister benefited is by having someone who can stand up for her while abused and the one who can help her when needing medical attention and still keep it a secret.

Charlies relationship with Aunt Helen

Charlie had always considered aunt Helen as her favorite aunt tad they always had a strong bond while watching television together before she perished in a road accident seven years ago. Chbosky provided many hunts throughout the novel that shows that there is something wrong with the relationship between Charlie and Aunt Helen. As Charlie continues to realize more about his past, he learnt that her aunt betrayed their friendship by molesting him at childhood (Finke 5). Charlie never revealed to any one the sexual abuse that he encountered when hanging out with his aunty at home.

Friendship for physical and emotional support

Charlie was too close to Patrick as his high school friend, and he provided defensive and emotional support where necessary. When Patrick locked horns with Brad, who was his former homosexual partner, after getting abused due to his sexual orientation, Patrick was defenseless, and Charlie was the one available to the rescue. Still, after the fight, Patrick was depressed and gets drunk; he leaned on Charlie for emotional support. Patrick even goes ahead to kiss Charlie, though Charlie did not get offended since Patrick also apologized (Dankowski 41). On the other hand, when Brad went ahead to conquer his sexual orientation and he called Patrick with insulting homosexual words before the rest of the students, his football team members were ready to fight for him as friends.

Friendship for intimacy and emotional support

Sam, Patricks stepsister and a senior high school student it is a coincident that both Sam and Charlie had experienced sexual abused in one part of their life, and the ghost memories are trailing them. Through the letter Charlie portrays Sam as a girl with everything, starting from her beauty being spontaneous and having a bunch of lovely friends around her. Therefore she is going to be described through the rose-colored glasses. When Charlie gets into the high school, he develops the crush on Sam, despite realizing that she has a boyfriend; however Sams love for Charlie gains momentum throughout the novel, regardless of the fact that she is dating Craig who is a male model, for a batter half of the novel. Charlies and Sams mutual friendship served as the lodestone for Charlie all through the novel. Their relationship finally became touchy during the performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but the desires for Charlie to have the intimate relationship. Sam was personal traumatized- Similar to Charlie, Sam was also sexually abused at her childhood, explaining the deep attraction that Charlie developed towards her, their bond is relatively subconscious for the nearly whole novel. The two love birds helped one another from their heart breaking memories, to come out again and have a fresh start together.

Betrayed- The same way Patrick was betrayed, Sam gets betrayed by her boyfriend, when she learned that Craig has been cheating on her on multiple occasions (Wilkinson 121).

During the party he meets Mary Elizabeth, who gets attracted to him also. Coincidently, things became dramatic when Charlie kissed Sam when they were playing Truth or Dare game, both girls became mad at him; but at last his love for Sam turned to be true when they were getting sexual connected. Despite her attraction to Sam, still Charlie was diplomatic on Sams relationship, and even felt pity for them when they broke up (Goldsmith 126).

In the novel, when Sam was preparing to depart for her summer pre-college program, she got close to Charlie where they began making out and started to have the sexual contact with one another; the author described how much Charlie became uncomfortable during the process due to the sexual abuse he had encountered in the past. The sexual molestation by his aunt left him traumatized and always the memories of the abuse get uncovered, but later on he was done with them and romanced with Sam to clean up the memories (Dankowski 38).

Academic friendship

Bill Anderson is Charlie's mentor as well as an English teacher. He developed a bond with Charlie through their academic encounter. Bill identifies Charlie's talent for reading and writing and tries to foster it. Bill plays a role in developing Charlie's self-confidence.

Charlie is described as quiet, intelligent, withdrawn observant freshman dealing with various traumas in his childhood


In the novel, we see Charlie as an eponymous wallflower of the Perks of Being a Wallflower. He is the narrator of the novel since it is entirely told in Charlie's point of view. The readers are only aware particularly as much as the Charlie knows regarding the situation (Chbosky 58).

Charlie as eponymous of Wallflower: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age kind of novel; Charlie experienced emotional maturity, as well as sexually and physically over the course of the year. Towards the middle of the novel, Charlie turns sixteen years old and receives the driver's license, together with these external makers of maturity; they are the denotation of Charlie's internal growth. While Charlie transforms the Wallflower, he emerges to have a more profound and much-nuanced meaning as the novel progresses (Cadden 146). Various reasons make Charlie to be referred to as Wallflower: - Charlie is referred to as a Wallflower because he had no friends, and yet he does not attempt to connect with the people. When at the dance, he is seen as a Wallflower since he stands off to the side, rather than joining in. The moment Charlies spectators were distressing things, such as the rape, date that was at his brothers party. Charlie tends to passively watch as opposed to stand up and speak, although, as the story continues, Charlie learned to be a Wallflower rather than the rug (Cadden 154).


Patrick is one of the close friends of Charlie, though he is a high school senior. Charlie approached Patrick during the homecoming football game since Charlie identified him as the kid from the shop class with the nickname "Nothing." Although Charlie did not refer Patrick as "Nothing" due to their past friendship, instead he called him by his name, Patrick. Patrick is a gay, and he has Brad as his partner, they occasionally meet one another but never interacted romantically while in public, they understood one another well. Things turned to be sour when Brads abusive father learned of their relationship and sent Brad to rehab. Brad becomes transformed and no longer had wants to be in a relationship with Patrick, they ended up in a confrontation whereby Brads derogatory complement hurt him immensely that eventually become a bloody war (Cadden 160).

Bill Anderson

He is Charlie's mentor as well as an English teacher. Bill identifies Charlie's talent for reading and writing and tries to foster it. Bill plays a role in developing Charlie's self-confidence.

Mary Elizabeth

She is a member of Charlie's group; she is described as self-centered and attractive. She is selfish when she invited Charlie to the Sadie Hawkins dance, where she is likes speaking about her rather instead of speaking on constructing their relationship. When Charlie attempted to date Mary Elisabeth, he got frustrated and left her life.


He is Patricks friend and at the same times his whisper to the local high scholars. Bob visited community college where he represented what could happen to Charlie's schoolmate the moment one of them engages in drug abuse.

Charlies mother

She is a caring, loving and kind mother, though she is still emotionally disturbed by her sister's death.

Charlies father

He cared, and loved Charlie, but he is entangled in emotional guiltiness. Charlies father had abandoned his mother and sister in the hands of an abusive man, making him fell guilty of forgiving himself on that.

Charlies grandfather

He is Charlies maternal, and he makes homophobic and racist remarks. Compared to Charlie who embraces and accepts everyone, his grandfather is a vestige of a dogmatic era.


She was dating Michael before he committed suicide...

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