Analysis of Charlie from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"

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Cover of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Many people have read the book "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" - Stephan Chbosky, and felt so many different emotions towards the main character, Charlie. Emotions ranging from despair for the main character to even anger as he chooses to make some very illogical decisions. I have decided to analyze Charlie's personality because I feel like whenever people read this book they start to adopt his personality and feelings allowing the book to be so powerful.

Extravert: After reading the book twice, I have a good idea of how extraverted the character is. Charlie is mostly a very quiet person who spends most of his time inside his thoughts. He prefers to be alone. Although, when he is in his usual group of ten or so people, he is fairly sociable. He probably scores around an 18-21 in the extravert category.

Agreeableness: Charlie would definitely score high on agreeableness due to the fact that others easily influence his behavior. At one point in the book he is convinced to try LSD. The average person would not be easily convinced into trying this drug, but Charlie is easily persuaded into trying it. He would score around 29-33 for agreeableness.

Conscientiousness: Charlie is very aware of his surroundings and is very well composed, but many times he demonstrates an inability to be self-disciplined. At times Charlie would score around 30 on conscientiousness whereas other times he would score as low as 19 or 20.

Neuroticism: After analyzing the character, it is pretty obvious that he suffers from Major Depressive disorder. The book is actually composed of several dozen letters that Charlie has written to someone at his school (anonymously), and a common subject for each letter is his futile and hopeless attempts at trying to be happy. I would rate Charlie's level of Neuroticism anywhere from 7-14.

Openness to Experiences: Charlie is a very open and creative person. As stated earlier, he is not afraid of trying new things (whether they be good or bad). He is also very open to different views allowing a freer and less constrained amount of creativity. Charlie would score probably around 29-32 on Openness to Experiences.

I highly recommend this book to anyone reading this blog entry; it's very captivating and only took me two nights to read it (and I'm an oddly slow reader).

- Drew

The cast of The Perks of Being a Wallflower (yet to be released).


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So cool, I've never heard of this book before. or thought to analyze a book of this way. Do you think it made the book better by analyzing the character or almost made it less interesting? I feel like if I did that it might take away from the plot of the book by making me read into characters so much. But I do think analyzing it would help understand why the character is how he/she is, like Charlie being emotional and making very bad decisions. Interesting point of view!

This book sounds interesting, I haven't heard of it, but will check it out! Thanks for sharing!

I think it is awesome that you chose to analyze a book because most people would jump directly to the most straightforward movie or t.v. series like the lecturer did with the Simpsons. Also, I feel like when people read books especially when they are assigned them, they simply analyze the most prominent characteristics rather than looking at where they would score low as well. I think it would be cool to look more closely at how someone's personality/behavior is impacted by the surrounding environment.

I can tell that Charlie is a very complex character from what you've written. It seems like he would be difficult to analyze using the big five, but you did a good job! I haven't heard of this book, but it sounds really interesting. Looks like it should be a pretty good cast for the movie as well!

Oh, nice book recommendation! Thank you.

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This page contains a single entry by kellu008 published on April 22, 2012 1:30 PM.

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