Study Guide

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Love

By Stephen Chbosky

Love

Part 1, Chapter 8
Bill

"We accept the love we think we deserve." (1.8.41)

Man, this Bill character is deep. Why doesn't Charlie's sister think she's deserving of real love? And while we're at it, does it run in the family?

Part 2, Chapter 2
Charlie

I am really in love with Sam, and it hurts very much. (2.2.19)

Big-hair band Nazareth sang "Love Hurts". Maybe Charlie should include that on one of his mix tapes. Are there any kinds of love in this novel that don't hurt?

I love Sam. It's not a movie kind of love either. I just look at her sometimes, and I think she is the prettiest and nicest person in the world. (2.2.9)

Let's count, shall we? Charlie met Sam on October 6. It's now November 8. He's known her a little over a month. He's moving a little fast, but hey—he's fifteen. Love can seem more powerful at that age.

Part 2, Chapter 3
Charlie

I love Twinkies, and the reason I am saying that is because we are all supposed to think of reasons to live. (2.3.2)

Why is Charlie so detached from emotional human relationships? Why do Twinkies pop into his mind when he needs to think of a reason to live? Is he deluding himself, or is this really how he feels?

Part 2, Chapter 10
Charlie

I moved to the typewriter again, and I wrote something. "I love you, too." (2.10.29)

For someone as passive as Charlie, it's kind of surprising that he's so quick to declare his love. What is it about love that makes Charlie come out of his shell?

I decided then that when I met someone I thought was as beautiful as the song ["Something" by the Beatles], I should give it to that person. (2.10.22)

Love and music are pretty intertwined in Perks. What is it about Charlie that makes this connection so strong?

Part 2, Chapter 13
Charlie

Aunt Helen was the only one who hugged me. (2.13.15)

Charlie's family doesn't exactly show their love physically, aside from Aunt Helen. When we find out that Aunt Helen molested Charlie, our understanding of his attitude toward physical affection becomes even more complicated.

I know my aunt Helen would still be alive today if she just bought me one present like everybody else. (2.13.20)

Love can all too often lead to guilt. In this case, Charlie thinks that if his aunt Helen loved him less, she would still be alive.

Part 3, Chapter 1
Charlie

Love pats are soft punches of encouragement that are administered on the knee, shoulder, and arm. (3.1.12)

This is Charlie's quite clinical definition of one of the very few ways his dad shows physical affection.

Charlie

Love always, Charlie (end of every chapter)

Charlie signs every letter not just love, but love always. Remember, he has never even met the addressee in person. What's up with that?

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