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Everybody's family is different, and never is that more apparent than in young-adult fiction. Usually one or both parents are dead, older siblings have run away, or the protagonist has to play parent to a younger brother or sister. Well, not in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
On the surface, Charlie's family meets the textbook standard criteria for normal: mother, father, three kids. We wouldn't be surprised if they had a white picket fence. But just because they fit a mold set by 50s-era sitcoms, that doesn't mean they are one big happy family. They definitely have their share of problems, some of them dating back a generation or two. And they're certainly not forthcoming with loving comments and physical affection. Still, in the clutch, they all come together to support each other.
Questions About Family
- Why does Charlie give Aunt Helen a name when he doesn't name any of his other family members?
- Is Charlie's family a loving one? How can you tell?
- What is Charlie's relationship with his sister like? Do they have a normal sibling relationship or is there something unique happening with them?
- Sam and Patrick are step-siblings. How do their interactions differ from Charlie's interactions with his sister?
Chew on This
Charlie's family's hands-off approach to love makes Charlie unlikely to offer physical affection.
Charlie only seems to appreciate his family when he sees how bad other families can be.