Why The Perks Of Being A Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky Should Not Be Banned
The first time I had ever heard the word depression I was five years old. When I say “heard” I don’t mean happening to hear it exchanged amid strangers conversation as I walked by. I was at a family barbeque with many of my relatives and the rest of my family and I was walking around talking to people and playing with my other young cousins and siblings when I walked up to my mom to ask her a question. At the time my mom was in the middle of a conversation with my aunt and another woman and as I waited there standing for a few seconds listening to my aunt finish her sentence. I remember her vividly saying,”yeah Audrey’s depression’s just gonna continue getting worse. It’s gotten to a really bad point. It’s time to get her on some meds or something.” That had been the first time I had ever heard the word, and I listened and I thought about it. I was confused from that point on about what that word ment and how it had any relation to my aunt and medication. As I’ve gotten older I’ve heard it reliably more and more often and gradually learned the definition of it. A few years later I heard stories of a kid that had apparently ‘died of depression’. I heard stories of how children, just teenagers growing up, just a few years older than me were so sad that they were suffering. When I was nine I heard it more, when I was twelve even more, and now fourteen even more than that. As you grow the word gradually becomes more and more consistently heard and reliably confronted in social interactions but not necessarily constantly. The book confronts the idea of depression and sadness in the lives of teenagers and young adults along with other topics such as sexuality, drugs, alcohol, and sex that are serious topics and things that teenagers are facing in their lives right now. It deals with issues that middle schoolers are concerned with and face daily and gives them a book that they can reside to and feel comforted by. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky does not deserve to be banned because it is one of the most well written books that I have ever read and confronts the real issues in teenage life in the most graceful, sensible, and considerate formats with understanding and teaches several valuable lessons.
When people begin to reach the ages of eleven and twelve this is the age where anxiety and depression begin to take their effect on people. Stephen Chbosky’s entire book is based around teenage life and the struggles of growing up and figuring out who you are and making your way through social life and throughout this book he addresses many of the real struggles that teens are faced with. Charlie, the main character, suffers from some depression and serious guilt after the death of his close Aunt Helen who died when he was seven and causes him to feel extremely sad and guilty. Depression surrounds the lives of teens and is known to be the third main cause of death in people ranging from the ages of ten to twenty four. Many teens are unaware of the obvious signs of depression and anxiety and don’t know how to cope with it for the friends or even themselves and can very easily end up doing to wrong things and taking the incorrect actions. Informing teenagers about the risks of depression and the effects they can have on people is extremely important. Teens need to be informed on what to do if someone they know or associate with is depressed or suicidal and this book helps kids know what to do in a way by showing them how Charlie took the steps to confide in his friends and family when he was feeling unhealthy and sad again and they helped him to begin seeing a psychiatrist and helped him get back to a healthy mental state.
Throughout the book there were several encounters with sexual preferences and content about several of the characters. The book deals with the concepts of rape and sex which is a typical issue in teenage life and plays some sort of role in every one of their lives. By the time people start to reach the age of fourteen about they begin to see it more and more in their lives and it begins to become more and more of a relevant and recurring problem and idea. Sex, rape, and sexual exercises become very typical to high schooler and even middle schoolers as they get older and become less strange and atypical. Sex is normal and is a common thing that humans do especially as they grow older that eventually everyone is exposed to usually when they are teenagers or pretty young. Learning about sexual intentions is something that young adults need to learn about as they mature and is something that they are going to begin to encounter. Teens also need to be aware of rape and how to get out of an situation like this and prevent this from happening to them or anyone that they know.
Middle school is the age when children begin to experiment with drugs and alcohol and start to gain experiences through family members or friends that relate to alcohol or different types of drugs. Since a young age i’ve witnessed people drinking alcohol in subtle ways like my parents and family friends. It is a common beverage for adults to drink with friends and family members. Everyone grows up around their families drinking and seeing people drinking alcohol becomes a normal activity and is less of an insane gesture and it is not strange or inappropriate in any way. Alcohol is a ordinary beverage around adults and people over the age of twenty one and should not be considered absurd or unsuitable for a book used in a middle school library. Drugs such marijuana and tobacco are common drugs used today in society and are constantly advertised in almost every gas station, supermarket, or food supply store in the world in efforts to lure people in and there is nothing that we do to stop it. People are legally allowed to experiment with drugs once they reach a certain age in their lives and are supported in their efforts and are not hidden from the complications, risks, and probabilities of drugs. Drugs are constantly surround us in society and in our daily lives so the idea that we need to shield middle schoolers of what they see everyday outside of school is absurd makes no sense to me in any way. In the book there is a passage that says where the main character Charlie is at a highschool party with is friends and drugs are being used. Someone passes around pot brownies and Charlie takes one unaware of that fact that it contains marijuana and eats it and immediately starts to feel the strange side effects. Parties like these are constantly occurring in high schools and middle schools where people are using and experimenting with drugs and alcoholic beverages. Teenagers need to be aware of what is going to be happening at parties and need to know what to do in situations like these and need to know how to react to different situations that could occur that these events.
This book is considered to be too graphic for middle schooler by some but this book introduces ideas that are arriving in the lives of teens and they are met with constentenly and need to be exposed to. Perks of Being a Wallflower discloses drugs, alcohol, and sex which are all important ideas that teens need to be aware of and need to be informed on because they are important things in life that they need to learn about and are common things that many people participate in usually. Learning about drugs, alcohol, sex, and depression are lessons that are even taught to us through our school systems and are lessons that are considered mandatory and required in our education systems and shouldn’t be thought of as inappropriate if they are naturally promoting the idea of educating ourselves on the topics. They should not be considered incompatible for middle schoolers to read about in libraries when teachers and schools constantly encourage educating us on the subjects.
Growing up through your teenage years can be lonely and stressful for many and having an outlet or something to relate to can be extremely useful, necessary, and helpful for some. This entire book is about growing up, going through high school, and the experiences that you encounter throughout these years which being a middle schooler. This can be something that someone can relate themselves too and can give them a book with characters and situations that they can relate themselves too. The book also teaches teens many lessons about the negative turnouts of using drugs and how things like alcohol and drugs can negatively affect your life. The book also teaches teens about different problems that can occur in highschool and middle school life and what happens through the teenage years. It portrays the reality of middle and high school and teaches readers about drug and alcohol usage, depression, rape, sex, relationships, and others things that teenages are already aware of. Reading this book has taught me several lessons and I would never want to take the chance of reading this book away from any other student at any other school.
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