How is Perks of being A WallFlower a Tragedy

5 May 2016

To begin, the quote “The World is full of suffering, but it is also full of the overcoming of it” (, 2013) by Hellen Keller has a strong meaning to encourage individuals to stand strong when a tragedy appears in life.

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In the novel, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky the main character Charlie faces many tragedies in his developing years of life such as the self-inflicted death of his best friend Michael, the death of his aunt Helen who was his favorite person in the whole world and many other devastating experiences which affected his life.

Firstly, one of the tragic elements portrayed in the novel is catastrophe. Catastrophe is something terrible that has happened which has changed the persons whole life around. One scenario of catastrophe in this novel occurs when Charlie’s best friend Michael Committed suicide right before high school was starting which left Charlie very miserable and impacted his social life negatively.

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be. I try to think of my family as a reason for me being this way, especially after my friend Michael stopped going to school one day” (Chbosky, pg. 2-3). This quotation explains that Michael’s suicide made Charlie very unhappy.

The second tragic element shown in this novel is remorse. Remorse means feeling guilty or regret for something you haven’t committed. An example of remorse shown in this novel is when Charlie’s Aunt Helen dies in a tragic car accident and Charlie feels as if it was his fault that she had passed away because she had gone out to buy him two birthday gifts like how she does every year.”

Despite everything my mom and doctor and dad have said to me about blame, I can’t stop thinking about what I know. And I know that my Aunt Helen would still be alive today if she just bought me one present like everybody else. She would be alive if I were born on a day that didn’t snow. I would do anything to make this go away. I miss her terribly. I have to stop writing now because I am to sad” (Chbosky. Pg.92).

This quote explains how Charlie feels that it’s his fault that his aunt Helen died and that if she didn’t have to buy him gifts she would still be with him today. “The perks of being A Wallflower” contains these two tragic elements: Remorse and catastrophe, using Michael and Aunt Helen.

Secondly, Charlie is a tragic hero because he went through so much in his early years such as going through major stressors which can cause depression. He stayed strong through all of it, no matter how hard the times got.

To begin, at this point in Charlie’s life, he has lost friends and family members which have left him scarred emotionally. For example, Susan his ex- best friend does not talk to Charlie anymore after their best friend Michael killed himself; she’s a whole different person in high school.” But because things change.

And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody” (Chbosky. Pg.145). This shows that Charlie realizes that nothing ever remain the same. Things happen, people change, and everyone moves on in life. Adding on, he is also a tragic hero because Charlie has an ability to move on in life, he doesn’t let tragic events keep him down, he finds a way to overcome it and always find some way to move on in life. “So, 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” (Chbosky. Pg.211). This quote means that we are who we are because of our past experiences throughout life and these challenging obstacles that we face make us stronger in the end.

Lastly, the novel “Perks of Being a Wallflower” fits the common or otherwise known as the everyday definition of tragedy. In this novel there are many unfortunate events where Charlie is faced with many difficult situations of where he loses his loved ones and suffers.

Starting off, Charlie suffers from the loss of his friend Michael and his aunt Helen. Michael was Charlie’s best friend in middle school and they were supposed to attend freshmen year together. He was one of Charlie’s only friend and they had a special connection as many best friends do. Aunt Helen was Charlie’s mom’s sister and Charlie’s favorite person in the world. She was the only one that ever gave him hugs and bought him two presents for his birthday every year.

Susan was really close with Charlie but over the summer before high school was starting Susan got her braces off; she got prettier and got more developed. When high school started Susan was to cool for Charlie which tore their friendship apart. Charlie went through many devastating events in his childhood years and still managed to carry on with his life without losing hope and strength.

Charlie faces many tragedies in his developing years of life such as the self-inflicted death of his best friend Michael, the death of his aunt Helen who was his favorite person in the whole world and many other devastating experiences which affected his life.

Charlie kept strong and moved on with his life even after experiencing many sad events. He is a true hero in the novel because he has a great understanding of life and how to cope with uncomfortable situations as presented above. Bibliography:

Chbosky, Stephen. the perks of being a wallflower. New York: MTV Books/Pockets Books,1999. Print. “Tragedy Quotes.” 7 Jan. 2013. Web. 9 Oct. 2013.<>

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