The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Summary and Analysis of May 2, 1992 - May 27, 1992

May 2, 1992

Charlie continues to smoke pot, and he goes to Bob to buy more. While at Bob's house, Charlie learns that Brad's father caught Patrick and Brad fooling around. Patrick told Bob that Brad's father started beating Brad with his belt; Patrick felt too paralyzed to do anything. Brad yelled at Patrick to get out, and eventually that's what Patrick did. Bob says that Patrick was in "bad shape," but Charlie doesn't think it is appropriate to call since he has been told to stay away from his circle of friends (344). Despite this barrier, Charlie still wants to check in on his friends, so he goes to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Charlie returns home and finds his sister and her new boyfriend on the couch. He tries to join them, but they urge him to go away because they want to be alone.

May 8, 1992

"It's strange how things can change back as suddenly as they changed originally," begins this letter. Brad has come back to school, and Patrick goes up to him in the hallway and tries to talk to him, but is shunned by Brad. Later that day in the cafeteria, Patrick walks up to Brad again, but Brad ignores him. As Patrick walks away, Brad yells, "Faggot!" at Patrick (352). Patrick swings at Brad, and Brad and Patrick begin wrestling and fighting. Soon Brad's friends gang up on Patrick, and then Charlie gets involved. Charlie doesn't go into details, but by the end of the fight, two of Brad's friends are lying on the ground and the other two are standing away from Charlie, scared. Charlie says to Brad, "If you ever do this again, I'll tell everyone. And if that doesn't work, I'll blind you" (355). Everyone involved is punished in some form or another, and Brad and Charlie are assigned to take detention together. On their first day, Brad thanks Charlie for stepping in, and when Charlie walks out of detention, Sam is waiting for him.

Sam thanks Charlie and explains her point of view on the catastrophe with Mary Elizabeth. Now that things are okay again, they can be friends and hang out. Charlie believes that the biggest reason that everything is okay is that Mary Elizabeth has started dating one of Craig's older friends, whom she appears to be very happy with because he is "opinionated" (362). Patrick is still devastated from the fight and break-up, and he officially quits playing Frank 'N Furter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

May 11, 1992

Patrick and Charlie have begun to spend a lot of time together, and Patrick is going through a bad time trying to get over the break-up. He has been smoking a lot, is not sleeping, and is taking pills to stay awake. He is hopeful about college and claims that things will be different there. Patrick shows Charlie all of the places that he and Brad used to meet in secret, and they tell each other embarrassing sex stories that they've heard about other people. When Patrick drives Charlie home, he leans in and kisses Charlie. Charlie lets him, and then Patrick kisses him again. They don't kiss for very long, and after they are finished Patrick starts crying again and begins talking about Brad. Charlie writes, "I just let him. Because that's what friends are for" (376).

May 17, 1992

Patrick and Charlie continue to spend time together, and Patrick takes Charlie to all of his old spots. One night, Patrick takes Charlie to a park where men go to find one another. Patrick instructs Charlie to not make eye contact if he doesn't want someone to come up to him, but one man approaches Charlie and asks for a cigarette. Charlie recognizes him as the sports anchor on television, and they talk briefly about local teams until Charlie says, "So what's it like being on television?" (380) which causes the man disappear. Regardless of where Charlie and Patrick drive together, Patrick always ends the night in a sad mood. On a night when Patrick sees Brad with another boy, Patrick is devastated and throws a wine bottle out the window. Later, he thanks Charlie for being his friend and speeds away.

May 21, 1992

Charlie is approaching the end of the school year: he has about one month left, and he is reflecting on the fact that he first started writing because he was nervous about school starting. All of his friends have less time than he does because they have prom and then graduation, but he is still eagerly awaiting the summer vacation. Charlie has watched a series of films that Bill recommended, and he has just begun reading the final book of the year: The Fountainhead.

May 27, 1992

Charlie has been inspired by The Fountainhead, and he gives writing a shot, only to stop after writing his first sentence. Overall, he has enjoyed the extra time he has had for reading and writing. Because all of his friends are preparing for college, he has spent a lot of time thinking about what his high school graduation will be like and what college will be like.


Forbidden sexual desires take the stage in this series of letters. Brad's father confronts Brad in an unimaginably violent way, and the scene in which Patrick is paralyzed from doing anything offers an incredibly gripping perspective on the lives and experiences of LGBTQ youth. Brad had become slightly more comfortable with his identity, but he was forced much deeper into the closet when his father hit him. Patrick doesn't know what to do, and the case is exceptionally difficult for him because he has to overcome a breakup; dealing with such separation is difficult for anyone, but Patrick needs to do so in private.

Charlie's darkness emerges again in these letters. When Patrick is ganged up on by Brad and his friends in the cafeteria, Charlie blacks out mentally and begins fighting Patrick's attackers. He doesn't remember exactly what happens, but when he emerges from his daze he sees two of them on the floor and the other two scared. Charlie is capable of tremendously violent things, which is disturbing considering his nonchalant attitude and daily insecurities.

When Charlie tries to comfort Patrick after the break-up with Brad, he has a difficult time asserting himself and speaking to Patrick. Instead, he just sits back and listens to Patrick, which is comforting but not productive. Charlie lets certain things happen - Patrick's kissing in particular - both because he thinks these actions might help but also because he doesn't know what to do. His inability to make a decision about his behavior or to take control of his surroundings shows the negative sides of being a wallflower.

However, Charlie does not see things this way. He believes that he is being a good friend, and these experiences all contribute to his evolving conception of friendship. Right now, Charlie believes that simply being there is enough, but later in the novel he will realize the value of contributing and participating. At first, Charlie's definition of participating was simply having friends, but now he is realizing the additional requirements for participation.