The Perks of Being a Wallflower is originally a novel written by Stephen Chbosky. A friend recommended it to me this summer and I started reading it right away. Despite having a simplistic style and a primitive form, the novel captured my heart the most because Charlie’s letters to his anonymous friend were strangely touching. It was an amazing experience to listen to Charlie’s troubles in his first year of highschool and feel moving things like friendships, family conflicts, and strange relationships. Chbosky’s eccentric Patrick, lovely Sam, and amiable Mr. Bill moved me through their ups and downs. Although quite modest, Chbosky’s writing expresses the most common and profound of feelings among teenagers, which luckily I related to.
I am now excited because it’s going to be released as a film in less than a month! Moreover, the cast seems promising to deliver good performances (I admired Lerman’s performance in My One and Only, Ezra Miller in his mindblowing role in We Need To Talk About Kevin – which I highly recommend for anyone out there to watch – and of course Emma Watson seems to fit perfectly into Sam’s character although flashes of her Hermione keep coming to mind), hopefully fulfilling Chbosky’s great characters. And best of all, Chbosky is writing the screenplay so the movie will keep some of the magic of the book (unlike many novels which lose their brilliance when produced as films).
I recommend, to anyone out there, to read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, not for a deep philosophical reading session but rather for a few hours of enlightening insight.
Read these quotes from Chbosky’s wonderful masterpiece:
“But I love him!” I had never seen my sister cry that much.
“No, you don’t.”
“I hate you!”
“No, you don’t.” My dad can be very calm sometimes.
“He’s my whole world.”
“Don’t ever say that about anyone again. Not even me.” That
was my mom.
Then, I turned around and walked to my room and closed my door and put my head under my pillow and let the quiet put things where they are supposed to be.
“I feel infinite.”
“You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you
Anyway, Patrick started driving really fast, and just before we
got to the tunnel, Sam stood up, and the wind turned her dress
into ocean waves. When we hit the tunnel, all the sound got
scooped up into a vacuum, and it was replaced by a song on the
tape player. A beautiful song called “Landslide.” When we got
out of the tunnel, Sam screamed this really fun scream, and there
it was. Downtown. Lights on buildings and everything that
makes you wonder. Sam sat down and started laughing. Patrick
started laughing. I started laughing.
And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.
I just listened to the music, and breathed in the day, and remembered things. Things like walking around the neighborhood and looking at the houses
and the lawns and the colorful trees and having that be enough.
There is this one photograph of Sam that is just beautiful. It would be impossible to describe how beautiful it is, but I’ll try.
If you listen to the song “Asleep,” and you think about those
pretty weather days that make you remember things, and you
think about the prettiest eyes you’ve known, and you cry, and the
person holds you back, then I think you will see the photograph.
To tell you the truth, I love Sam. It’s not a movie kind of love
either. I just look at her sometimes, and I think she is the prettiest
and nicest person in the whole world.
Personally, I like to think my brother is having a college
experience like they do in the movies. I don’t mean the big
fraternity party kind of movie. More like the movie where the
guy meets a smart girl who wears a lot of sweaters and drinks
cocoa. They talk about books and issues and kiss in the rain. I
think something like that would be very good for him, especially
if the girl were unconventionally beautiful. They are the best kind of girls, I think. I personally find “super models” strange. I don’t know why this is.
I hope it’s the kind of second side that he can listen to whenever he drives alone and feel like he belongs to something whenever he’s sad. I hope it can
be that for him.
I really think that everyone should have watercolors, magnetic poetry,
and a harmonica.
It was an old 45 record that had the Beatles’ song “Something.” I used to listen to it all the time when I was little and thinking about grown-up things. I would go to my bedroom window and stare at my reflection in the glass and the trees behind it and just listen to the song for hours. I decided then that when I met someone I thought was as beautiful as the song, I should give it to that person. And I didn’t mean beautiful on the outside. I meant beautiful in all ways.
“Write about me sometime.”
Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines he wrote a poem And he called it “Chops” because that was the name of his dog And that’s what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and a gold star And his mother hung it on the kitchen door and read it to his aunts That was the year Father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo And he let them sing on the bus And his little sister was born with tiny toenails and no hair And his mother and father kissed a lot And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine signed with a row of X’s and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant And his father always tucked him in bed at night And was always there to do it Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines he wrote a poem And he called it “Autumn” because that was the name of the season And that’s what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and asked him to write more clearly And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because of its new paint And the kids told him that Father Tracy smoked cigars And left butts on the pews And sometimes they would burn holes That was the year his sister got glasses with thick lenses and black frames And the girl around the corner laughed when he asked her to go see Santa Claus And the kids told him why his mother and father kissed a lot And his father never tucked him in bed at night And his father got mad when he cried for him to do it. Once on a paper torn from his notebook he wrote a poem And he called it “Innocence: A Question” because that was the question about his girl And that’s what it was all about And his professor gave him an A and a strange steady look And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because he never showed her That was the year that Father Tracy died And he forgot how the end of the Apostle’s Creed went And he caught his sister making out on the back porch And his mother and father never kissed or even talked And the girl around the corner wore too much makeup That made him cough when he kissed her but he kissed her anyway because that was the thing to do And at three A.M. he tucked himself into bed his father snoring soundly That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag he tried another poem And he called it “Absolutely Nothing” Because that’s what it was really all about And he gave himself an A and a slash on each damned wrist And he hung it on the bathroom door because this time he didn’t think he could reach the kitchen.
I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to
sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be
aware that you do exist. Or something like that.
Things were worse an hour ago, and I was looking at this tree
but it was a dragon and then a tree, and I remembered that one
nice pretty weather day when I was part of the air.
And this one kid Mark at the party who gave me this came out of nowhere and looked at the sky and told me to see the stars. So, I looked up, and we were in this giant dome like a glass snowball, and Mark said that the amazing white stars were really only holes in the black glass of the dome, and when you went to heaven, the glass broke away, and there was nothing but a whole sheet of star white, which is brighter than anything but doesn’t hurt your eyes. It was vast and open and thinly quiet, and I felt so small.
Girls are weird, and I don’t mean that offensively. I just can’t
put it any other way.
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.
Patrick and I weren’t sure how much Craig actually told Sam.
We both hoped he gave her a “soft” version of the truth. Enough
to make her stay away. But not enough to make her doubt
everything about everything. Maybe it’s better to know the whole
truth. I honestly don’t know.
I love my mom so much. I don’t care if that’s corny to say. I think on my next birthday, I’m going to buy her a present. I think that should be the tradition. The kid gets gifts from everybody, and he buys one present for his mom since she was there, too. I think that would be nice.
It’s glorious at night. Just glorious. You start on one side of the
mountain, and it’s dark, and the radio is loud. As you enter the
tunnel, the wind gets sucked away, and you squint from the lights
overhead. When you adjust to the lights, you can see the other
side in the distance just as the sound of the radio fades to nothing
because the waves just can’t reach. Then, you’re in the middle of
the tunnel, and everything becomes a calm dream. As you see the
opening get closer, you just can’t get there fast enough. And
finally, just when you think you’ll never get there, you see the
opening right in front of you. And the radio comes back even
louder than you remember it. And the wind is waiting. And you
fly out of the tunnel onto the bridge. And there it is. The city. A
million lights and buildings and everything seems as exciting as
the first time you saw it. It really is a grand entrance.
So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never
know most of them.