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The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Essential Revision Notes

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

By Stephen Chbosky

Leaving Certificate English

Revision Notes

© irevise.com 2017

© irevise.com 2017.

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Table of Contents

Book, author background 5

Cultural influence and appeal, and the author’s inspiration 5

Summary 6

Character profiles 8

Charlie 8

Charlie as the “wallflower” 8

Patrick 8

Patrick’s significance 8

Sam 9

Charlie and Sam’s relationship 9

Craig 9

Bill Anderson 9

Mary Elizabeth 9

Brad 10

Bob 10

Charlie’s brother 10

Charlie’s sister 10

Charlie’s mom 10

Charlie’s dad 10

Aunt Helen 10

Charlie’s grandfather 10

Michael Dobson 10

Susan 11

Peter 11

Themes, Motifs, and Symbols 12

Themes 12

Social inclusion 12

Living life fully, and to the full 12

Motifs 13

Driving 13

The Rocky Horror Picture Show 13

Symbols 14

Cigarettes, Alcohol, and Drugs 14

Mix tapes 15

Important Quotations Explained 16

1. 16

2. 16

3. 17

4. 17

5. 18

Structure and Style 19

The book’s form – a series of letters to an unnamed ‘friend’ 19

Sample Answers 20

What is the role of sexuality in the novel, and what forms does sexuality take for the characters? 20

How does Charlie develop through the novel and become more comfortable with his identity? 20

What is the significance of Charlie's decision not to provide the names of his family members? 20

In light of the specifics of Charlie's life, how can readers relate to his high school experiences? 20

What is the role of secrecy in Charlie's life? 21

How does Charlie's writing style change depending on his mental state? 21

Analyse the scene in which Charlie’s sister gets an abortion. How does Charlie react to this event? 22

Book, author background

Born on January 25, 1970 in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia in the USA, Stephen Chbosky grew up in Upper St. Clair, a Pittsburgh suburb similar to the setting of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Chbosky studied screenwriting at the University of Southern California, and in 1995, he wrote, directed, and starred in the independent film The Four Corners of Nothing.

The Perks ...

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