Study Guide

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Friendship

By Stephen Chbosky


Part 1, Chapter 1

Dear friend (beginning of every chapter)

Charlie addresses his letters to a "friend." Hmmm, this sounds more like a Facebook friend than an actual friend. After all, he tells us that he only knows one thing about the person and has never even met him or her in person.

Part 1, Chapter 7

Patrick and Sam didn't just throw around inside jokes and make me struggle to keep up. Not at all. They asked me questions. (1.7.11)

Perks is keeping some creepy tabs on our lives, don't you think? After all, we all know the feeling of being on the outside of an inside joke. Chbosky's use of everyday friendship happenings allows us to really understand how important Sam and Patrick will be to Charlie.

It would be very nice to have a friend again. I would like that even more than a date. (1.7.32)

After Michael's death, Charlie is eagerly craving any sort of social interaction. We know it's desperate when a teenage boy wants a friend more than a date.

Normally I am very shy, but [Patrick] seemed like the kind of guy you could just walk up to at a football game even though you were three years younger and not popular. (1.7.5)

Charlie acts against his shy nature, and he gets some friends as a reward. What do you think—is this a step in the right direction for Charlie, or is Patrick just a super understanding guy?

Part 1, Chapter 10

Sam sat down and started laughing. Patrick started laughing. I started laughing. And in that moment, I swear we were infinite. (1.10.118)

Infinite. What a great way to describe the profound power of a shared moment of joy between friends. Can you remember your most recent infinite moment?

Part 2, Chapter 7

I hope it's the kind of second side [of a mix tape] that [Patrick] can listen to whenever he drives alone and feel like he belongs to something whenever he's sad. (2.7.8)

Charlie is really the sensitive type, huh? No matter what kind of stupid stuff he does to and with his friends, it's pretty clear that he cares about them.

Part 2, Chapter 10

Sam and Patrick looked at me. And I looked at them. And I think they knew. Not anything specific really. They just knew. And I think that's all you can ever ask from a friend. (2.10.6)

Enough said.

Part 4, Chapter 1

I don't know how much longer I can keep going without a friend. I used to be able to do it very easily, but that was before I knew what having a friend was like. (4.1.16)

Friends are kind of like a drug for Charlie—going through withdrawal is painful.

Part 4, Chapter 3

I just couldn't watch them hurt Patrick even if things weren't clear just yet. (4.3.17)

Even though their friendship is strained, Charlie is loyal to Patrick in the Nutrition Center showdown. But it takes an extreme situation—like Patrick getting destroyed by Brad and his buddies—for Charlie to be prompted to act.

Part 4, Chapter 14

I just remember walking between them and feeling for the first time that I belonged somewhere. (4.14.11)

So happy together! A sense of belonging is so important in high school, even more for someone like Charlie. And his friends are able to give him that.

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