Chapter summaries – Part 1

Chapter 1 – August 25, 1991

The first chapter of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky opens with a date and the phrase “Dear friend”. This suggests that the novel will be made up of a series of letters. The narrator, Charlie, explains that he wants to remain anonymous to his reader, and that he is using these letters to try to figure out why he is the way he is. 

He reveals that his best friend in middle school, Michael Dobson, committed suicide last year. Charlie doesn’t understand why. He also explains his family set up – he mentions his mom and dad, his brother who is at university and plays football, and his sister. Charlie also mentions his Aunt Helen, whom he loved and who had a difficult past. He finally reveals that he is starting high school the next day, and he is nervou...

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