Senior College English
2 January 2014
The Real Charlie
“Psychoanalytic criticism builds on Freudian theories of psychology. Some critics believe that we can read psychoanalytically to see which concepts are operating in the text in such a way as to enrich our understanding of the work” (Tyson 29). Throughout the novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the main character, Charlie, writes about his struggles every day and it leads up to a coming of age experience. The author, Stephen Chbosky, portrays a psychological dilemma of the main character. Charlie lived in a different way that most teenagers would live. He was trying to cope with everything that he had been going through.
Charlie grew up with an older brother and sister. He was not necessarily close with his siblings, but he loved them both and he knew that they loved him. Both of his parents have been together for as long as he can remember, and his Aunt Helen lived with the family also.
He held Aunt Helen very near and dear to his heart, because she loved him and paid a love of attention to him. But she passed away in a car accident during a snow storm during the holidays, right before Charlie’s birthday. Now Charlie is left without someone to attend to his needs. As a child, he needs continual guidance and nurturing under the tutelage of a family. Yet no one seemed to resemble a parental role for him but Aunt Helen. As mentioned, Aunt Helen stuck with Charlie through thick and thin, and she seemed like the only one to care for him at home. Since the biological mother’s role, as mentioned, has been wanting, Aunt Helen filled in this gap by fervently loving and caring for Charlie. Aunt Helen, in short, resembled the motherly figure for Charlie.
Against this backdrop, it is fitting to assert that Aunt Helen is a Janus-faced figure to Charlie. While she fulfilled the noble role of addressing the absence of mother figure, her death, coupled with the...