So, I recently read the novel ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’ and well, I have never read a book which depicts loneliness and in that case, high school in such stark reality. So, I had to do something for the book. I thought to write a review of the movie initially, but I am finding it very difficult to express the feelings which I experienced while watching the movie. So, I revisited the novel and noticed the questions at the end of the book. I know that I have started this blog for sitcoms and movies, but I also have a very keen interest in reading books. I admit that I too couldn’t find the answers of most of the questions, so I am listing out 5 of them that I have a view of. Hope you enjoy it ! (sorry for the punctuation ahead, but a true Perks fan will surely comprehend )
1 . who do you identify with the most ? did you see parts of yourself in any one specific character ?
Ans. heck, I felt like I was reading my own autobiography. i identify myself with Charlie. i am sort of like Charlie. the depiction of loneliness is exactly what I sort of suffered through during some years. there is a line in the book when Sam, Patrick and Charlie go to a restaurant and Charlie remarks ‘The best thing about Sam and Patrick was that they kept on asking me questions, unlike other people who just start a conversation and expect you to keep up’ .that is the most accurate depiction of loneliness there can ever be. i cried at that. this is exactly one of the reasons why I started this blog. to talk to people, because people just start uninteresting topics and expect you to keep up. but in my case, I say it is undoubtedly my mistake because the only things that I love talking about are movies, sitcoms, books, archaeology and philosophy which apparently many don’t give a damn about. with this blog, I have actually met people who are my type like Mark Hobin, Kelly Konda and Kirsten Slater who I can effortlessly talk to because of their similar, undying love towards movies and sitcoms. i may not have many friends in my personal life, but these guys do make up for it and actually turn out to be the friends I have always wished I had. charlie is the character that defines me.
2 . What do you think kept Charlie from participating when he entered high school ? What held him back ? Have you ever felt this way ?
Ans. it was probably because of Charlie’s low self-esteem. he treated himself like crap. he was always the quiet child, teacher’s pet, psycho kid and all that. and he must have thought that since he was already a failure, he doesn’t need to do things that others can keep on reminding that he is a good-for-nothing, which was entirely wrong. i may have been or still am like Charlie, but I have actually never felt this way. honest
3. From Naked Lunch by William Burroughs to Harold and Maude to the Beatles’ song ‘Dear Prudence’ Charlie references numerous pieces of literature, film and music. How did these references shape your reading ? Why are they so important to Charlie ?
Ans. these references are what made this book so original. it seems like you are peeping into someone’s diary. it doesn’t make charlie just a literary character, it makes him human. it feels as if he just comes out of the book, and talks to you (vice versa of what happened in Chamber Of Secrets). I think the fans deserve more when they are reading a book about everyday life and stephen chbosky has given us just that. Like when you are discussing perks, you can take pride in identifying with the character. You can sorta say ‘i like the type of music that Sam loves’ or ‘that book just sucked, i don’t know why charlie liked that’ and all. i think these pieces of art are so important to Charlie because they express themselves, unlike Charlie does. it is inspiring for him. for eg. take the song Asleep. it describes what his friend Micheal must have gone through before committed suicide. it sort of describes his state too. now on a personal front, i think it is relationship with the characters that you have when you have finished reading a book or watching a movie. for eg. i have decided to pursue archaeology in future just after watching indiana jones. he is the most coolest guy in the world for me. escaping from criminals internationally, finding artifacts that defines our time on this planet and getting women while still being a low-paid archaeologist. that’s one hell of a life ! now on a literary front, i take charlie himself. he is ‘me’ and that is so cool and heart warming to know that there are people in these wide world who are just like me. that’s why i think they are so important to charlie. it is just escapism, like the nerd nebula calls it.
After watching an art film with Mary Elizabeth, Charlie says : “The movie itself was very interesting, but I didn’t think it was very good because I didn’t really feel different when it was over. Do you agree with Charlie that in order to be ‘good’ , creative works must make you feel differently ? How did you feel after reading THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER?
Ans. no, i do not agree with charlie on this matter. you can’t expect to feel different after watching a good movie. for eg. take music and lyrics. It is undoubtedly one of my all time favourite movies and one of the best rom-coms ever made. but that didn’t mean i felt different or my perspective about love changed after watching it. i was thoroughly entertained and i left the theater with a smile on my face, tuning the movie’s songs. yes, the movies which make us feel different or change our views about something stand above the other on a personal front. you know like i love, as i said, music and lyrics but if someone comes up to me and asks, “which is your favourite rom-com ?” it is sure gonna be (500) days of summer because my whole perspective about relationships and love and everything in between was mauled and brought back to normal with a few more ingredients at the end of the flick. so, yes, if a movie makes you feel differently, very good but in order to be good, creative works do not necessarily have to make you feel different. but after reading perks, i was mesmerized, heart-broken and full of hope.
The PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER grapples with a complex, universally difficult stage of life. What reflections did it inspire about your own life ? What parts of the story resonated deeply with you ?
Ans. see, many have a misconception about this book that it is only for people who have felt lonely. i assure you, it isn’t. perks will connect with everyone because everything that happens in the book is true and is experienced by every teenager in every nook and corner of the world. real life issues are spread out throughout the book and philosophy of a very high grade is discussed in a very lively manner. the book is hilarious, joyful, heartbreaking and every other thing. i have already mentioned about the reflections it inspired with my own life, so that’s enough but the parts which resonated with me aren’t the huge plot-changers in the book, it is those little moments like charlie’s dad crying after watching the finale of ‘mash’. these little moments sort of give a feeling that this really happened and the numerous pop culture references add to that effect. the perks just does it all.
So folks, I hope you all enjoyed this. I assure that there is a review of the movie adaptation coming up too. What did you feel about the book ? Which parts or character connected most with you ? Do you have different answers about these questions ? Do you have any different questions regarding Perks which you want my perspective on ? Do you want me to do any other feature or a review about a sitcom, movie or book ? If you want to please let me know in the comments. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you haven’t read or watched The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, please do, both movie and book are awesome. Thanks for your precious time. Signing off !
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