The JV Book Club discussion

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Perks of Being a Wallflower > Static or evolving character?

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message 1: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 27 comments Mod
So probably a lot of people are finishing or will finish this book quicker than the others but maybe not so I am trying to think of discussion questions that will not lead to spoilers! It's hard!

Do you guys thing that Charlie evolves at all throughout the course of the book or does he just seem to remain stagnant. And another thing, does not knowing anyone's real name keep you at a distance from the characters? Just a few thoughts to get the discussions rolling! Thoughts?

In the movie version, which I have already said I prefer, I think that I felt more drawn to and attached to the characters. And I also felt like I understood Charlie a bit more and I felt more for him than in the book.


message 2: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Squires | 10 comments I actually forgot that the names weren't real, so I can't say that it had an impact on my reading experience one way or another.

As for whether or not Charlie changes: without giving too much away, there are at least three moments of catharsis in the final section of the book, all of which another author might have used to serve as a turning point for the character or to try to explain why he is the way he is. I think it's to Chbosky's credit that he doesn't reach for easy answers when it comes to Charlie and a way forward for him. In a way, he really doesn't change. He just has a series of epiphanies about himself, and whether or not that will lead to some evolution down the road is sort of left open-ended.

By the way, I have some misgivings about the book's final reveal, and I'm interested to hear what other people thought about it once we get there.


message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 27 comments Mod
Remind me and I will start a discussion thread at the end!!


message 4: by Karen (new)

Karen | 3 comments I'm new to the book club and I'm excited to join.

First, I would like to say that I enjoyed the movie much better than book- which is a first for me. But I think I heard an interview with the author (I think Fresh Air) and from the part I caught it appears like he always wanted to tell this story as a film. I really enjoyed the use of music in the film and I feel that book had a more difficult time using music in the same way.

I felt distant from the characters, but I don't think it is because it was due to the not using the characters name, but I think it was that the story was told through letters. I think if the story was told through a simple first person narrative instead, I feel like we could get closer to Charlie. I think having his story filtered to what he wants to tell this third person makes the stories and experiences feel more distant. Also, I feel there is an attempt to write as a 15 year old, but I feel like a 15 year old that reads so much could use a higher level of vocabulary and maybe more emotion could be conveyed.

Also, I have some ideas about who he is writing letters to, and I would love to hear what other people think.


message 5: by Victoria (new)

Victoria (vceden) | 29 comments Mod
I agree that a 15 year old (especially this one) would probably have a higher vocabulary, but we also have to remember that he has experienced a great trauma. The book starts with a suicide and Charlie's personal trauma obviously affect him greatly. He might have the vocabulary but not the emotional knowledge to put his specific struggles into words. Even now I have days where all I can come up with is "I feel weird."


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