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Charlie - the Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Charlie - The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie, a 15-year-old boy, throughout his freshman year of highschool. Charlie is considered to be a wallflower; he analyzes everything and spends a lot of his time in his head, attempting to understand some of life’s greatest mysteries. While he seems to be very driven, pondering the many things he wants to be when he gets older, Charlie never actually does anything that would help achieve those goals. Despite a few instances of anger and aggression, overall, Charlie is a funny, honest, shy, socially-awkward, all-around good guy. On the surface, Charlie's family seems to be a stereotypical, cookiecutter, all-american family. He has happily married parents, an older brother who plays football at Penn State, a sister who is three years older than him and a grandfather who lives with them. However, Charlie’s family is quite the opposite of normal. His mother tends to cry a lot and was beaten by her father growing up. Charlie’s father is very cold, uncaring and often looks down on him. Charlie is often compared to older brother, who often worries about him. Charlie’s sister is always mean towards him and they constantly argue about instances in which her boyfriend hit her. Charlie’s Aunt Helen, (his mothers sister) molested him when he was younger and died in a car crash when she was on her way to get his birthday present. Although Charlie tends to stay to himself, he has an intimate group of friends that are seniors. One member in particular, Sam, serves as the love of Charlie’s life. strongly believed entering high school . After Charlie’s best friend, Michael, committed suicide, leaving him alone to face high school, he believed his starting mission was to make friends. Charlie is a gifted writer and narrates his experiences by writing letters to Michael. Based on my scientific judgement, I believe Charlie suffers from Posttraumatic stress disorder.

After being molested by his Aunt Helen, Charlie repressed any memories or thoughts having to do with the incident and ultimately refused to accept that such a thing occurred at the hands of his “favorite aunt;” a term in which he convinced himself to believe. However, later in life these memories began to resurface when Charlie began experiencing flashbacks of his aunt which worsened as he became increasingly sick. The height of his flashbacks occurred in the midst of his pursuit to develop a relationship with Sam when she touched his leg and he envisioned Aunt Helen. He soon became fearful of seeing things which consequently resulted in him feeling uneasy and anxious. Charlie also carried a lot of guilt, often blamed himself for things he clearly had no control over and saw other having absolutely no fault. For instance, Charlie had a strong relationship with his Aunt Helen and believed because of that, she was a good person. When she died on her way to get his birthday present he could only view himself as a bad person and the reason for her death. Similarly, when things didn’t go as planned with Sam, he felt like he was the problem in the relationship. This left Charlie moving through life feeling like he would never be good enough and often caused him to avoid public places. Charlie experienced the symptoms mentioned above for 8-10 months, becoming so severe that he attempted killing himself.



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