February 21, 2019, 10:50:48 AM

Author Topic: Are There Perks to Being a Wallflower? For Charlie, or for anyone?  (Read 837 times)

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October 09, 2012, 08:24:11 AM

paint it Black

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At Charlie's First Real Party, his friend Patrick points out to the other partygoers that Charlie is "'a wallflower'".  "'You see things.  You keep quiet about them.  And you understand."'(p.37)  None of the others look down on Charlie for being this way, and Charlie is honestly taken aback that they've even noticed: "I didn't know that other people thought things about me.  I didn't know that they looked."(p.38)  Is being a "wallflower" an acceptable social identity for Charlie?  Or is his teacher Bill right when he says that Charlie ought not to immerse himself in deep thinking too often and instead "participate" more in life?  Does Charlie ever succeed in participating?  Do positive things happen for him if/when he does?

Do you see yourself as a wallflower, or did you consider yourself to be one at a different time in your life?  Is it healthy for people to be this way, or should they try to "participate" more?  :-\

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February 02, 2013, 12:34:41 PM
Reply #1


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I was very pleasantly surprised when his new friends noticed Charlie like that. However, while it's good that they're accepting of Charlie, I sometimes feel that they're enabling him a little too much. They don't seem to encourage Charlie to form actual opinions, and he seems afraid to do or say anything that might anger them or make them not like him anymore. But as it is, it's difficult for his friends to know real Charlie. Only Mr Anderson encourages Charlie - with those books and those essays. And Charlie does try, but I don't think it brings him much good, mostly, I mean, he gets into drugs, for one. Also, he isn't very good at it, like, when he dates Mary-Elisabeth, he is still afraid, it seems.

I hope, though, that his last conversation with Sam made Charlie realise that while this sort of detached distant observation and withholding opinions and judgements feels safe or something, he doesn't really get to know those other people and prevents them from knowing him even more.