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True Friendship in Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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“True friends walk in when the rest of the world walks out” Walter Winchell . Best friends are those who show that they will there as proven in The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Throughout the book Chbosky demonstrates that bonds can quickly break, families aren’t always supportive and that new, understanding friends are better than old friends that do not. The age of a friendship is not measured by the quality of a friendship. Bonds that are made are easily broken. Despite knowing Susan for years, she ignores Charlie throughout the book. As Charlie walks through high school, he sees a familiar face and feels relieved. “In middle school Susan was very fun to be around”.

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In middle school Susan and Charlie had bonded over the loss of Michael and had grown to be friends. Over the summer Susan had changed ending her and Charlie’s partnership. Furthermore, bonds that are broken are very hard to repair. Charlie talks to Susan to see how she was doing and Susan continues to ignore him. “It was almost like she didn’t want to…she used to be my friend”. Charlie was feeling alone and was wondering how Susan felt and she shut him down forgetting all about the bond the two had shared last year. Charlie isn’t just overlooked at school, he is often pushed away at home. Family love isn’t always as supportive as they should. Charlie’s kind actions are often diminished among his family. “Charlie! Shut up! Okay!? Just up!”. As Charlie sees his sister upset and goes to comfort her, she yells in response because he is still seen as her young brother who does not understand anything. Charlie also faces being ignored in his own home. Charlie wants to be helpful it is seen as annoying and in the way. “I tried to help my mother in the kitchen but I dropped the casserole…Because he wanted to watch the hockey game”. Charlie has known his family his whole life and even though they know how great Charlie is they still continue to push him away. Charlie still keeps a positive mind though because he has his new found bond with Sam and Patrick.

New friends that are understanding and accepting are way better than old friends that do not. Almost as soon as Charlie meets Sam and Patrick, they treat Charlie as they would an old friend. “The nice thing about the Big Boy was the fact that Patrick and Sam didn’t just throw around inside jokes and make me struggle to keep up”. One of Sam and Patrick’s best features is that they let Charlie in without skipping a beat and continue to treat him as a friend not as the new guy he was. After knowing Sam for only year, Charlie considers her the best friend he has had. As Sam leaves for college, Charlie tells her something as she leaves for a couple of months. “You’re my best friend”. Sam had taken the time to get to know the great guy that Charlie is and will continue to be friends well into the future.

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The length of a friendship does not contribute to the value of a friendship. This is proven in Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of being a Wallflower was Charlie’s long bond with Susan finished, even in his own family he is often overlooked, and when he meets Sam and Patrick and they continue to be a good friend. “True friends walk in when the rest of the world walks out.

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True Friendship in Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. (2020, September 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from
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