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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower


by Stephen Chbosky

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

For many people, The Rocky Horror Picture Show isn't just a cheesy 70s B-movie. It's a way of life. Before reading our thoughts on the matter, we suggest you read about the phenomenon, from the making of the movie to the origins of its audience-participation rituals. It's pretty intense stuff.

You back? Okay. Now you know that people dress up like the sweet transvestite Frank 'N' Furter, throw stuff at each other, and talk to the screen. But what does Rocky Horror mean for Charlie?

Let's Do the Time Warp Again

One of the iconic songs in Rocky Horror is the "Time Warp." It's a catchy song, and the dance even comes with its own instructions. (Love. The. 70s.) For modern readers, Perks is a time warp of its own. It brings us back to the 90s, before e-mail and smart phones, when people listened to music on the radio and recorded it onto cassettes.

Pretty cool how symbols can become symbols only after the fact, right?

It's Just a Jump to the Left, and Then a Step to the Right

The "Time Warp" is also a group dance—think the Macarena or the Electric Slide. That's what makes Rocky Horror so special for its participants: the group part. Just like Planet Fitness, Rocky Horror is a judgment-free zone. Charlie can wear a feather boa and a gold speedo and no one says boo. Fitting in is so important to Charlie (and to all high schoolers, let's be honest), and Rocky Horror makes Charlie and the gang feel like they belong.

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