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The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Part 1, Chapter 8 Summary How It All Goes Down
October 14, 1991 Charlie is proud of a new skill he's learned: masturbation. In case you don't know what that is, he gives us quite the definition. When Charlie actually tells Sam about his sex dream (why, oh why?), he cries. Although she doesn't judge him for it, she does tell him that he's too young for her. Patrick gives Charlie some rules for dating girls: Girls are always copying moms and magazines. Girls like guys who are a challenge, because it gives them a sense of purpose. Girls try to change guys, but if they do, they get bored. These rules puzzle Charlie (um, and us), so he spends a lot of time watching how other couples interact. Instead of, you know, trying it out for himself. Bill (the English teacher) asks Charlie if he dances or goes on dates. The answer? A resounding no. Here's Charlie's rationale for not participating: he doesn't have a car and he's not a good dancer. Well that settles it then, doesn't it? Charlie also tells Bill about the boy who hit his sister, and the teach has an interesting view on this: "We accept the love we think we deserve" (1.8.41). That's one to ruminate on. Then Bill gives Charlie a pat on the shoulder, a new book, and a cookie, and sends him on his way. Okay, we made up the part about the cookie. A Shmoop can dream, right? By the time Charlie gets home, Bill has called and told his parents about his sister's abusive boyfriend. The family has a heated discussion, concluding with Charlie's sister being forbidden to see the boy. (We second that decision, parental units.) She tells Charlie that she hates him, that he's a freak, and that everyone knows it. Not really taken aback by this, Charlie responds, "I'm trying not to be" (1.8.60). Well, that could have gone worse.
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