The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“Sometimes I look at my parents and wonder what happened to make them the way they are” (pg. 52). What does Charlie mean here and what do you think ‘happened to them’?

Section 1 of the book 

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Charlie often feels a sense of disconnect and isolation from his parents. In his letters, Charlie leaves his family unnamed in order to preserve his identity. His immediate family consists of his mother, father, older brother, and older sister. Throughout his accounts, Charlie seeks to understand his family and learn more about what motivates their actions and emotions. The family is not very intimate, and they often fight or shield their feelings, only presenting specific versions of themselves to one another. Charlie finds this lack of communication disturbing and he wonders how his parents got that way to instill this dysfunction in his family.  The behavior of Charlie's family/parents mirrors the behavior that Charlie sees at school, which causes him additional distress as he tries to become a participant rather than a detached observer.