Study Guide

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Part 1, Chapter 8

By Stephen Chbosky

Part 1, Chapter 8

October 14, 1991

  • Charlie is proud of a new skill he's learned: masturbation. In case you don't know what that is, he gives us quite the definition.
  • When Charlie actually tells Sam about his sex dream (why, oh why?), he cries.
  • Although she doesn't judge him for it, she does tell him that he's too young for her.
  • Patrick gives Charlie some rules for dating girls:
    1. Girls are always copying moms and magazines.
    2. Girls like guys who are a challenge, because it gives them a sense of purpose.
    3. Girls try to change guys, but if they do, they get bored.
  • These rules puzzle Charlie (um, and us), so he spends a lot of time watching how other couples interact. Instead of, you know, trying it out for himself.
  • Bill (the English teacher) asks Charlie if he dances or goes on dates. The answer? A resounding no.
  • Here's Charlie's rationale for not participating: he doesn't have a car and he's not a good dancer. Well that settles it then, doesn't it?
  • Charlie also tells Bill about the boy who hit his sister, and the teach has an interesting view on this: "We accept the love we think we deserve" (1.8.41). That's one to ruminate on.
  • Then Bill gives Charlie a pat on the shoulder, a new book, and a cookie, and sends him on his way. Okay, we made up the part about the cookie. A Shmoop can dream, right?
  • By the time Charlie gets home, Bill has called and told his parents about his sister's abusive boyfriend.
  • The family has a heated discussion, concluding with Charlie's sister being forbidden to see the boy. (We second that decision, parental units.)
  • She tells Charlie that she hates him, that he's a freak, and that everyone knows it.
  • Not really taken aback by this, Charlie responds, "I'm trying not to be" (1.8.60). Well, that could have gone worse.

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