Symbolism In The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

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From the moment people are born, no one tells you to have to act in high school. People eventually conform and put on false images and hide behind masks just to hide from their real selves. This is the social norm that people blindly flow just to obey the social norm and not to feel like an outcast. In this book The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, the main character Charlie enters his freshman year of high school, and he meets two seniors Sam and Patrick. Sam and Patrick mentor him through his freshmen year of first dates, family dramas, and new friend Chbosky uses symbolism and the use of characters to reveal that teenagers use a mask to hide who they really are in order to comply with social norms.

Especially among society and in high school it is often difficult for someone to come out. At this time, the norm in high school was, if you were homosexual then you lose a certain level of popularity. In the novel, Brad a star high school quarterback who is also secretly homosexual would conform to this social norm. Charlie states, “Friday, there was another party. And this time, Patrick and Brad got stoned… And Monday in school, Brad did the same thing. “Man, I was so wasted. I don’t remember a thing”(44). He uses “Man, I was so wasted. I don’t remember a thing” as a mask, to throw people off so they don't question him. In
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Charlie describes what happens during the play when he says “Patrick finally come on as Frank N Furter”(147). Every time when the group acts in the Rocky Horror Show Patrick plays the transvestite, Frank N Furter. Patrick a homosexual himself uses acting as a time where he can truly express himself. He can act as he pleases and no restrictions apply. He doesn’t have to follow the social norms, and its the only time where he feels like he can really be
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