The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Theme of Sadness
If Charlie were sending text messages instead of writing letters, they would probably consist of a lot of frowny-face emoticons. That is, if he could even bring himself to text. In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie tends to straddle that fine line between sadness and depression. His solution: to totally withdraw himself from all social interaction. Sometimes he even turns to drugs.
Sure, Charlie has moments of joy and happiness, but even when he isn't spiraling into a deep hole filled with panic attacks and depression, there's a fog of bummer surrounding him. Bottom line: this guy sure knows how to bring himself down.
Questions About Sadness
- Why is it so important to Charlie whether others are sad or not? Is he an incredibly empathetic person, or is he just nosy?
- What kinds of things make Charlie sad? What can that tell us about Charlie as a person?
- How do other characters in the book cope with their sadness?
Chew on This
Charlie likes feeling sad because it's a familiar feeling.
As R.E.M. said, everybody hurts sometimes. It's nothing to get worked up about, but Charlie obsesses over it.