Receiving Letters From A Secret Someone

Joriel Ann N. Aranda STEM 2

The format of the book was in letter. I think Chbosky used this format not just to be unique, but since it is intended to be read by teenagers, he chose this format to send a message to them through a book. In terms of the story, the book structure affected me by really feeling the character that was given to me by the author. I actually felt like the unknown person that Charlie’s talking to. And in terms of reading experience, since I am able to be in character in the story, I was able to make my imagination work even though there are no illustrations in the book. And the words used are easy to understand which means that since I am a teenager, the author was able to accomplish his intention that the book are for teenagers. If the book was written in the first person narrative, the text would have less adjustments yet, the experience or the effect on the reader would be like the typical narration of a book or like reading an autobiography. And if it was written in third person narrative, the experience will be massively different from the letter structure. It will be hard to understand who is the main character and more things might be confusing.

I think Charlie was writing to an unknown person in his school. For me, it doesn’t ultimately matter whom he is writing to yet, the reader’s curiosity was triggered in this part. It doesn’t really matter if we know whom he is writing to because his purpose in writing those letters are to share his insights and experiences as a teenager and not to actually have a conversation with another person literally. Charlie’s intention was to have someone who can listen to him. Yet, like what was mentioned earlier, it can really trigger the curiosity of the readers.

Since it is Charlie who’s writing, I identify the most Charlie. He has this unusual yet amazing kind of perspective on everything. That’s what I liked about him the most. He is unique. He has a special kind of way of thinking for a usual teenager. I seldom found or saw parts of myself in any specific character. Maybe because the things that the teenagers do in the book are in different country that’s why our culture was also different from them.

Charlie is a wallflower. He is a shy type of person and a sympathetic one. He usually think a lot about things which leads him to good and bad effects. Charlie is also a loving one. He is the youngest among his siblings – brother and sister. He also has a bad habit of crying so much when he feels to cry. I wouldn’t mind being friends with Charlie. After all, I would like to learn more about how he thinks because it broadens my understanding as well.

I think Charlie participated more as he entered his highschool because of his new friends. They helped Charlie to boost his confidence somehow. And helped him realize that it’s not bad to participate. What held Charlie back are his thoughts. Sometimes his thoughts are becoming a hindrance for him to participate. He will think too much of what will the other person think of him if he does this and that. Yes, I sometimes feel like this before because us, teenagers, always want to fit in. We want to be good in the minds of other people.

For me, Charlie’s greatest allies were Sam and Aunt Helen.For they are patient enough to understand him. They can motivate Charlie though they’re not always around him. They can inspire Charlie. His worst influence in my opinion was himself. For me, it’s just his own thoughts that lead him to destruction. He should be able to manage that.

From Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs to Harold and Maude to The Beatles’ song “Dear Prudence”, my reading was shaped by letting me realize the deeper context of life. These references have their own contribution to my perspective today. I think these are Charlie’s favorites because he gained something from those. A treasure that he will cherish for a lifetime.

Charlie observed that Bill was talking for “real” because he knows that Bill was serious and he means what he’s talking about. Charlie discerns about what is real and what is not real by the look on someone’s face and how the words are spoken or their paralanguage. And also by what he’s feeling towards the situation, if it’s making him feel strange or not.

I agree with the confrontation of Sam to Charlie before she leaves for college. To show someone that you love him/her, you have to do things and not just let the others do what they want for the relationship. Because in a relationship, two people must work together to make it work. This conversation made their relationship grander because Charlie realized the bad effect of what he’s doing.

I agree with Charlie when he said that in order to be “good”, creative works must make you feel differently. Because you will not truly understand the quality of the work if it doesn’t affect you in some way. A creative work can be identified as a good one, depending on the viewer or reader. After reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I felt differently. There was something in my perspective in life. I began to try to notice more the unnoticeable in my surroundings. That’s why for me, the book was good.

Aunt Helen was generous because he gives gifts to Charlie. Yet, she also has a bad habit of drinking a lot and having drugs because of the effect of her dark past. I was really surprised when I realized the revelation of truth about her and Charlie’s relationship. History repeats itself. There was some parts of the story that Charlie gave hints that he was molested by her aunt, yet, those are unnoticeable. His affection with Aunt Helen made him feel and think more confusedly.

In the beginning of the story, Charlie was the one who chooses to just observe and not “participate” in almost everything. But at the end of the story, Charlie became the person who is now participating. He now enjoys the feeling of having in company with others. He still observes, but his overthinking was lessen, he started to be carefree.

Through this book, I realized that what’s happening to me at this difficult stage of life is not yet the worst. There are people like Charlie who suffered more and was still able to survive. What I like the most is how Charlie evaluate his observations in his surroundings. The part of the story when Charlie said ” Mary Elizabeth told me that the thing about Zen is that it makes you connected to everything. You are part of the trees and the grass and the dogs.” and when Charlie already felt that, there was a part of me that also wants to experience that. I want to feel connected to everything.

This book was a wonderful one. It was a great experience reading it.


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