The Perks of Being a Wallflower Part 1: Letter 1(p.8-11) - doesn’t want anyone to figure out who he is / who the person is he slept with - is both: happy and sad - his friend Michael killed himself by a gun | he is very sad - after that: older brother is really nice to him (let him work on his Camaro (car) - guidance counselor knows his name - made teachers nervous ---> got better grades - wants to know why Michael committed suicide (“problems at home”?) - one brother (very good football player, likes his car, good fighter, is football player at Penn…
The perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chobsky Plot The story is about a boy, named Charlie, who is a misfit and has his first day at high school. He is a bit weird; he counts the days till graduation day (1385 days) and writes letters to “friend” but it isn’t mentioned, who “friend” is. Charlie loves to write and maybe wants to write a book someday. On his first days on high school Charlie barely talks and it’s difficult for him to make friends. He takes an advanced English course and a shop class. In shop class Charlie notices Patrick, who gets…
Peer groups and outsiders
Charlie is described as "special" (p.154, l.17), a "wallflower" (p.37, l.49) "You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand"; "God, that kid is such a fucking freak." (p.123, ll.68ff; p.166, ll.24-28); "I don't know how much longer I
can keep going without a friend. I used to be able to do it very easily, but that was before I knew what having a friend was like."(p.123, ll.63-66; p.92, ll.7-22).
o Discuss the quotes and statements to find out why Charlie is not accepted by the pupils of his age.
Norms and values
The narrator (as letter-writer) is a 15-to-16-year-old who hangs around with senior students (who are about 18years old), and who is also influenced by the adults in his family as well as at school (in particular, Bill).
The "norms and values" of a society, especially when they concern the process of growing up, are usually reflected in family and school environments; find out about them with the help of the references (cf. p.28, ll.26-31; p.20, ll.20-26; p.24, ll.35ff; p.97, ll.59ff; p.168, ll.35ff; p. 98, I.13; pp. 100 & 104; pp. 40ff & 125f; pp. 150ff; p.
118; p. 45, I. 60; pp. 134-136; p. 133, II.51-54; p.34; ll.32ff; p.133, ll.46-47; p.134, I.17; p.87,l.67; p. 88, ll.8ff; p. 132, ll.10-11; p.10, ll.31-32, p.10, ll.22-23, 30; p.88, ll.
21-22; p.24, l.30; p.53, ll.46ff.) o Describe and explain these values!
o Discuss their impact and function on the development of the story and the life of the characters!
Literature (EXTRA for ADVANCED STUDENTS)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower mentions several well-known works of literature.
Many of the titles cited form part of the high-school English literature curriculum.
Charlie is asked to read these books by his Advanced English teacher. Some are apparently more important than others, as they are mentioned more than once.
Charlie's reaction to these books serves to characterize him.
You might want to find out more about them and write a short “dictionary entry” referring to their central topics/ story and the effect they might have on Charlie,
Or, you might want to choose one or two of the books and take a closer look at them and their meaning for the protagonist! (in case, refer to the excerpts given).
EXTRA for ADVANCED STUDENTS
When Bill says "Be sceptical about this one. lt's a great book. But try to be a filter, not a sponge" p. 141, II. 38-39), the reader becomes aware that he does hope Charlie is reading critically. Discuss why this might be a very important aspect when dealing with literature! WRITE AN ESSAY!
Charlie's story is set at the beginning of the 1990s, yet much of the music he and his friends prefer is not the music of the day, but rather songs that could be called "classics" even then. Almost all of these songs can be found easily on the Internet. o Find recordings of the songs listen to them, take a look at the lyrics, discuss their meaning and possible importance to Charlie and choose one or two for closer analysis!
o Discuss why music might play such an important role in a teenager’.....[read full text]
Acting out a dialogue as a role-play o Sketch your dialogues rather than writing them out as complete scripts; this allows you to react more flexibly during role-play. Practise speaking the conversation and rehearse it until you no longer need more than a few keyword prompts. In the evaluation stage, pay attention and say whether you feel that the characters fit your own interpretation; this could start a discussion about character interpretation (going back, of course, to what Charlie actually tells us about these characters).
Write a letter from the perspective of one of the other characters.
Suggestions for letters
• Letters to the fictional addressee:
Here are a few examples of characters and the letters you could react to: o Charlie’s sister (in reaction to the letters of October 14 and 15, pp. 24ff and 28f, February 15 and 23, pp. 98ff and 101ff).
o Sam/Patrick (in reaction to the letters of December 21, pp. 58ff,
January 4, pp. 86f) o Mary Elizabeth (in reaction to the letter of February 15, pp. 98ff.) An e-mail to a friend: o Alternatively, you could write an e-mail from the point of view of one of the characters in the novel to a close friend who, for example, left the school and moved to California, recounting some of the events mentioned in Charlie's letters from their perspective.
This would also give you the chance to talk about other .....
Summarize the information you get about Charlie's school. Would you like to spend a year there as an exchange student? Why or why not? In what way(s) do you think it is different from your school?
MORE IDEAS FOR PROJECTS
A reading poster offers students the possibility of visualizing the content and their interpretation of a novel read in class. Students choose which elements of the plot they want to portray in which way and in which order. They can focus on the characters, problems or situations they found particularly interesting. The poster may be drawn, painted or presented as a zigzag book (Leporello), a photo story or a collage of pictures cut out of magazines and newspapers.
Students may be given suggestions, but are free to choose the form of presentation they like best. The poster may only mirror the plot, but can also include a personal appreciation of the novel. The posters may be produced by individual students or in groups.
o Portray your interpretation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower on a reading poster. You may use watercolours, crayons and pictures from magazines and the Internet. You may include relevant quotes, but your poster should mainly represent visual elements.
Blurbs - the function of blurbs (i.e. arousing curiosity by stating the most import.....
Biography poem - describing a character. o Write a poem about a character in the novel using the following example:
name ‘The Eagle’
three descriptive adjectives Strict, demanding, kind
Who loves … Who loves his school
Who wants … Who wants his students to succeed Always …, never … Always vigilant, never tiring
name ‘The Eagle’
Haiku - limiting yourself, channelling your creativity
Description: Haikus consist of three lines and between twelve and seventeen syllables in total. In a traditional Japanese haiku, the first line contains five syllables, the second contains seven (up to nine in a non-traditional haiku), and the third five syllables. Haikus present an object in nature and an emotion or a surprising observation that accompanies the perception of that object.
Traditionally, a haiku also includes a word or phrase that conveys the season of the poem.
o Write a haiku that either expresses how you feel about the novel or one that mirrors a situation or a character’s feeling in a certain situation. Example: