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Peer Pressure In The Perks Of Being A Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky

1204 words - 5 pages

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem of those who think alike than those who think differently.”(Friedrich Nietzsche) In the novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, the three main characters Charlie, Sam and Patrick illustrate peer pressure throughout different perspectives. Charlie is exposed to new things that allow him to mature and grow. Sam has experiences a pressure upon herself to keep up with her reputation although she began to realize right from wrong. Patrick is forced to keep his sexuality preferences private that subsequently may cause him harm. Peer pressure can help a person develop and grow as an individual. However, too much peer pressure can lead to a person losing sight of their identity.
Charlie begins his journey in high school as an independent individual. The novel introduces Charlie as a thoughtful, observant and different character that tries to fit in. Throughout Charlie meets two friends, Sam and Patrick, which help him fit in in the consequence of exposing him to drugs and alcohol. Charlie has tried many drugs such as marijuana, LSD, cigarettes and alcohol. “I ate the brownie, and it tasted a little weird, but it was still a brownie, so I still liked it. Since you are older, I think you know what kind of brownie it was. After thirty minutes, the room started to slip away from me.”(Chbosky 35) The quote describes Charlie’s first time using drugs when he was innocent and did not understand why the brownie had a weird taste. Later, Sam explained to him what the brownie contained. As part of growing up, he has been brought to light of negative resources. Those resources have brought him to constantly using them to relieve stress, deal with difficult situations and feel part of a group. The story’s continues as Charlie smokes up to a ten cigarettes a day. “I'm now up to about ten cigarettes a day” (Chbosky 103). As much as Charlie understands that it is bad, he does not stop and increases his dose. Charlie has finally realizes that it is time to stop smoking pot and cigarettes and understands that it isn’t a way to deal with situations. Towards the end peer pressure has taught Charlie to not constrict to the acts of others but think about his own. Through his experiences, he develops and grows to do the right things. However, not only Charlie makes mistakes and suffers the consequences.
Sam is a senior in high school as well as Patrick’s stepsister; she has a big impact on Charlie’s coming of age throughout the book. After traumatizing experience of rape , Sam begins to make wrong decision about relationships and sexuality. She is known for many dreadful things, however that was her reputation. Students at the school know all the tough truth about her and expected Sam to continue with who she was. As Charlie’s sister says: “She said that Sam has low self-esteem. My sister also said that Sam had a reputation when she was a sophomore. According to my sister,...

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