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The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky

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

  1. Why is it so important to Charlie whether others are sad or not? Is he an incredibly empathetic person, or is he just nosy? 
  2. What kinds of things make Charlie sad? What can that tell us about Charlie as a person?
  3. How do other characters in the book cope with their sadness? 
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