Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Changed my Life, What about Yours?

As an avid reader and passionate English major, you would think that I would have read Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower prior to my senior year of college. Unfortunately, I have to admit it took me this long to finally sit down and dive into what has now become one of my favorite books of all time. When I say this book changed my life, I honestly mean that it opened up doors in my heart and soul that I thought were shut forever. Chbosky’s words are not just read; they take a life of their own and actually speak to the readers, guiding them on their own self-discovery. By commenting on specific quotes from the book that I found extremely profound, I will illustrate the significance of this book’s impact on my view of the world and myself as a human being.

One of the most important quotes in my opinion is when Bill asserts, “Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.” While this is in reference to Charlie’s sister’s abusive relationship with her boyfriend, this quote put love and relationships into perspective for me. Prior to this book, I found myself in relationships that consisted of me dealing with unnecessary drama and negativity simply because I felt that I couldn’t do any better. However, this quote opened my eyes and heart to new possibilities. I was accepting a relationship that I thought was the love I deserved, but the truth is that I deserve more. I found more. I found more bliss and comfort in a man who truly does give me what I deserve, and I could not be any happier.

Another quote that hit home for me was when Sam says to Charlie, “It’s great that you can listen and be a shoulder to someone, but what about when someone doesn’t need a shoulder. What if they need the arms or something like that? You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things.” One of my major flaws is my sensitivity and strong urge to put the happiness of others before mine. Yes, it’s great that I want to help others be happy, but sometimes you have to find satisfaction and happiness within yourself in order to find it within others. This quote also showed me that I can’t just sit back and wait for good things to happen in life; I have to get out there and make them happen.

Finally, the most significant quote for me, but also the most popular out of the book, is when Charlie recognizes a brief moment of complete ecstasy and says, “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” I honestly can’t devise a better phrase to sum up that amazing feeling of genuine joy, acceptance, and comfort you find in those rare, brilliant moments with your friends. As graduation quickly approaches, I remember times in which I felt that infinity, and I let out a sigh. I let out a sigh of accomplishment because if I can recall at least one of those precious moments, my life is, well, pretty great.

While these are only a few memorable quotes from the book, I have to confess again that the book as a whole did more for me in 213 pages than others have done for me my whole life. For that, I am eternally grateful towards Stephen Chbosky.


  1. My favorite movie and book ever, also changed my perspective on life :)

  2. It introduced me to rock music, and encouraged me to read more often. I relate to Charlie in the fact how we both try to be nice to people but end up failing, and how we are ignored at times. It made me realize that I am a wallflower, which I am perfectly content with.

    I know some people say a book/band/movie etc has saved their life, I wouldn't say it saved mine purely because I wasn't in that kind of situation. It did make my life a lot better though, and even if I was deeply suffering, it would save me.

    Best book I've ever read.