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Archive for April 27th, 2009

Some of My Favorite Quotes from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 27, 2009


OK, so I promised you I would send you some of my favorite lines from The Perks of Being a Wallflower that I thought might be comment-worthy. Our discussions were great, but there were some things we didn’t get around to discussing, at least in some of the groups, that I thought you might want to ponder.

I also want to recommend a “read-alike” to you. If you liked Perks and you’re interested in another book with a teen guy who becomes overwhelmed by depression, you might want to borrow my (personally autographed) copy of It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. I heard Ned speak a couple of weeks ago, and he is hilarious! This fiction book is loosely based on Ned’s own story of his five days in the psychiatric wing of a hospital when he was a teenager. I think you will feel more positive that Craig, the story’s narrator, will be be able to overcome his depression than some of you felt about Charlie, the narrator or Perks.

If you see any quotes you a) find humorous, b) wish to comment upon,  c) find touching, or that d) apply to your life, please send in your comments by clicking on the title of the post and then entering your comment. Some of my brief comments are in bold italics. What do you think Charlie (or actually Stephen Chbosky) means by some of these lines? I think some of them are pretty profound, and some are just cool. Thanks, Mr. Chbosky, for such a great book! Anyway, here are some of my favorite lines. There are quite a few, because I am quite a fan:

  • “The thing is some girls think they can actually change guys. And what’s funny is that if they actually did change them, they’d get bored. They’d have no challenge left. You just have to give girls some time to think of a new way of doing things, that’s all. Some of them will figure it out here. Some later. Some never. ” (Ask your Mom what she thinks about this one; she’s probably still working on your Dad!)
  • “…sometimes people use thought to not participate in life.”
  • “We accept the love we think we deserve.” (Please do not “settle”! Demand the love you really deserve!)
  • “Then, I turned around and walked to my room and closed my door and put my head under my pillow and let the quiet put things where they are supposed to be.”
  • “Not everyone has a sob story, Charlie, and even if they do, it’s no excuse.” (If you don’t learn anything else from this book, please let it be this: don’t let the bad things that happen to you in life be an excuse to waste the rest of your life feeling sorry for yourself!)
  • “Patrick actually used to be popular before Sam bought him some good music.” 🙂
  • “Mary Elizabeth is a very interesting person because she has a tattoo that symbolizes Buddhism and a belly button ring and wears her hair to make somebody mad…”
  • “I just think it’s bad when a boy looks at a girl and thinks that the way he sees the girl is better than the girl actually is. And I think it’s bad when the most honest way a boy can look at a girl is through a camera. It’s very hard for me to see Sam feel better about herself just because an older boy sees her that way.”
  • “Maybe these are my glory days, and I’m not even realizing it because they don’t involve a ball.” (This is so “high school.”)
  • “”Sometimes, I look at my parents now and wonder what happened to make them the way they are. And then I wonder what will happen to my sister when her boyfriend graduates from law school. And what my brother’s face will look like on a football card, or what it will look like if it is never on a football card.” (Is Charley afraid that his brother would allow not succeeding at football to be an excuse for wasting the rest of his life feeling sorry for himself?)
  • “My dad and my brother and my cousins carry [my grandfather] out to the car of the person who is least angry at him.” 🙂
  • “I don’t think we should base so much on weight, muscles, and a good hair day, but when it happens, it’s nice. It really is.” (Whether we like to admit it or not, whether they should or shouldn’t, people do judge us by our appearance.)
  • “This is not a time for heroes because nobody will let that happen.”
  • “The thing is, I didn’t know what it said even if it said it very well.”
  • “I would give someone a record so they could love the record, not so they would always know that I gave it to them.” (Why do we really give each other gifts? Is it sometimes for the wrong reasons?)
  • “Something really is wrong with me. And I don’t know what it is.”
  • “It’s very easy to read, but very  hard to ‘read well.’ “
  • “After that, whenever I saw him around anywhere, he didn’t look like he was there. He looked like he was someplace else. And I think I knew that because that’s how people used to say I was. Maybe they still do. I’m not sure.”
  • “I almost didn’t get an A in math, but then Mr. Carlo told me to stop asking “why?” all the time and just follow the formulas. So, I did. Now, I get perfect scores on all my tests. I just wish I knew what the formulas did. I honestly have no idea.” (Compare Mr. Carlo to Bill who encourages Charlie to “stretch” himself as a learner”)
  • “…and the great part is that I took what the author wrote about and put it in terms of my own life. Maybe that’s what being a filter means.”
  • “I would die for you. But I won’t live for you.” (Wow! Powerful stuff!)
  • “The great thing about my mom’s purse is that no matter what you need at any give moment, she has it.” (Some of you commented that you didn’t think Charlie’s parents were “there” for him, but this is an instance in which I think Charlie’s parents were more helpful to him than perhaps we realized.)
  • “If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am. And I don’t want them to carry it around inside. I want them to show me, so I can feel it, too.”
  • “I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.” (Remember that–we can always choose were we will go from here, and that is what matters…)

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