Study Guide

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Literature and Writing

By Stephen Chbosky

Literature and Writing

Part 1, Chapter 3
Charlie

I like to read books twice. (1.3.2)

After the revelation at the end of Perks, you might want to read it a second time, too. Trust us—you'll see a ton more the second time around.

Part 1, Chapter 4
Charlie

[To Kill a Mockingbird] is now my favorite book of all time, but then again, I always think that until I read another book. (1.4.2)

Confession: the same thing happens to us. Our favorite books are The Giving Tree, The Road, and Invisible Man, but tomorrow? It's anyone's guess. And you know what? We're not complaining about a world where there are enough great books to keep changing our minds.

Part 1, Chapter 10
Charlie

When I write letters, I spend the next two days thinking about what I figured out in my letters. I don't know if this is good or bad. (1.10.2)

The process of writing something down can be a great way to figure out complex problems. Stumped on a paper? Just start writing, and the solution might just come to you.

Sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book. (1.10.2)

Charlie's taking empathy to the extreme here. And really, we don't want him to be Holden Caulfield. He's already depressed enough.

Part 2, Chapter 10
Sam

On that piece of white paper, Sam wrote, "Write about me sometime." (2.10.26)

Little does she know that practically every letter Charlie writes is about Sam.

Part 2, Chapter 15
Charlie

I'm going to write it down because maybe if I do I won't have to think about it. And I won't get upset. (2.15.11)

What do you think? Is writing truly cathartic like that?

Part 3, Chapter 11
Charlie

The only advice Bill gave me was to think about [Hamlet] in terms of the other main characters in the books I've read thus far. (3.11.18)

We'll do you one better, Bill. Shmoopers: think about Hamlet in terms of Charlie. And "they're both tragic characters" just isn't going to cut it.

Part 4, Chapter 6
Bill

When he gave me the book, Bill said, "Be skeptical about this one. It's a great book. But try to be a filter, not a sponge." (4.6.10)

Bill's advice should be applied to everything you read, even here on Shmoop. Even this very sentence. Whoa… mind blown.

Part 4, Chapter 7
Charlie

That was the first sentence. The problem was that I just couldn't think of the next one. After cleaning my room three times, I decided to leave [my character] alone for a while because I was starting to get mad at him. (4.7.4)

Only one sentence? That's an extreme case of writer's block. For a guy who writes 52 letters in a year, we're thinking he can do better.

I read on the back cover that [Ayn Rand] was born in Russia and came to America when she was young. She barely spoke English, but she wanted to be a great writer. I thought that was very admirable, so I sat down and tried to write a story. (4.7.2)

Charlie doesn't try to write a story because he really wants to, he does it because he thinks Ayn Rand's life story was pretty spiffy.