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Themes

We're not amoebas. Without sex, none of us would be here. Unfortunately, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie seems to only see and experience only the most negative aspects of human sexuality. Not only was he molested—a memory which he immediately repressed—h also witnesses a date rape, watches as his friend hooks up with numerous men, and takes his sister to get an abortion (among other things). All of these events wound Charlie mentally and color the way he views the world of human sexuality. This is the stuff you don't learn in Health class.

Questions About Sex

  1. How do Charlie's repressed memories affect his feelings about sex? How will he be different now that his memories aren't repressed?
  2. What are some of the consequences of sex that are portrayed in Perks?
  3. Charlie's sister has sex with her boyfriend after he hits her. What kinds of conversations do you think this can spark in readers?
  4. Does anyone in the book have a healthy sexual relationship?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Thoughts of sex trigger negative feelings in Charlie.

Patrick uses sex to escape from reality, much in the same way he uses drugs and alcohol.

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