Perks of Being a Wallflower – Charlie Analysis

My English exam requires me to analyse a character from Perks of Being a Wallflower and then write a personal narrative about the experiences that have changed their original IAV’s. Now I have chosen Charlie as I can freakishly relate to him as a character. I thought I would share my analysis and break down in preparation to the exam as I thought it was interesting. I already have given you my perspective on the quote from the book and movie.

Major Experiences

  • Molested by his aunt Helen; she dies whilst getting his birthday present, had what he thought was a close relationship with aunt Helen and a special bond, says that he was the only one who understood him, shaped a broken sense of love and relationships between people – normalised abuse
  • Best friend, Michael, kills himself; sense of abandonment as there is no note left, creates a disassociation within himself and the events in his life
  • Meets Sam and Patrick; first time he is accepted for being a “wallflower”, allows for him to gain a different form of trust and respect. When he falls for Sam, he begins to confuse these experiences for the same as that of Aunt Helen.
  • Dates Mary-Elizabeth; emphasises the manipulative ideals he has embedded from his relationship with Aunt Helen, doesn’t feel as though he has the power to stop the relationship

Character Traits

  • Much younger than his peers – is this a consequence of his relationship with Aunt Helen?
  • Disassociation between himself and significant events
  • Feels powerless towards women, lets Mary-Elizabeth, Sam, Candace etc. control his thoughts and behaviours – feels as though he has to gain their approval



  • Believes that he is worthless towards women and that he has no power underneath them
  • Believes that his relationship with Candace, Sam and Mary-Elizabeth are the same as his relationship with Aunt Helen – draws parallels that are not there
  • Believes that if he disassociates himself from his issues especially from his past in order to protect himself and his family
  • Believes it is better to hide his emotions and shame and guilt in order to put others emotions above his own


  • Values survival
  • Values his safety


  • Does not break up with Mary-Elizabeth; and when they do because of Charlie’s choices he then begs for her forgiveness despite hating the relationship simply to have her approval
  • Is constantly seeking the approval of the women in his life, especially by doing everything they command from him which is why he told his therapist about Aunt Helen

That’s all for now


A Recovering Survivor 


About Recovering Surviver

Hi, I am a Recovering Survivor and I'm not the only one...
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