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Comparison Of Falling Into Place And The Perks Of Being A Wallflowers (Essay Sample)


You will have one major composition project in this course. You will write a comparison/contrast paper about our two novels (5-6 pages). You will incorporate evidence from the novels and from outside sources.
These two novels are Falling into Place and The Perks of Being a Wallflowers.


Death As Seen In Two Different Sets of Eyes
Cowardly. That's what they say about the act or even the thought of suicide. But how much do people really understand about its nature? Charlie and Liz, despite having very different personalities both struggle with thoughts of suicide among other pains associated with growing up. Charlie identifies as a “wallflower”, introverted and shy while Liz is a popular kid. But depression does not discriminate between popular kids and wallflowers. In Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Amy Zhang's Falling Into Place, both these young adults go through these excruciating moments in their lives. Stories like Liz' and Charlie's are important pieces of literature that would help in opening people's eyes to what it is really like to deal with such thoughts and perhaps, one day, end the stigma around it.
To start with, Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower is introverted, shy, and quite unpopular while Liz in Falling Into Place is popular and well-respected. Charlie struggles, as any normal teenager does, in his journey to young adulthood but finds a few friends that he's comfortable with. He had a loving family except that one member of that trusted group of people abused him in his childhood. This trauma stayed with him for a long time and had been a major trigger or stressor for him toward the end of the story. It is easy to relate to Charlie if you are someone who has not always been understood by many. Liz, on the other hand appears to have it easy being the well-loved kid that she is. However, she also found herself in the hospital after an attempt to take her own life. Perhaps, one thing that is strikingly similar in both of these young people's worlds is loneliness. Both authors showed us the very nature of loneliness and that no matter what your current situation is, it can strike and strike hard.
Charlie narrates his story by writing to a stranger about his attempts to “participate” in life which shows readers that this boy doesn't have a lot of people to talk to. Chbosky's style is so effective that one can feel precisely how lonely Charlie is. Like Charlie once wrote to the stranger in his diary, “I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands” (Chbosky, 9). While Falling Into Place is narrated in the third person perspective, we are given a clear view into Liz' struggles and pains despite the seeming glamour in her life. Zhang was very creative in her use of integrating theories in physics to capture her readers' attention and show how gravity, velocity, and acceleration among others have become part of and accentuated the story. "She was tired. Gravity pulled at her more aggressively than usual” (Zhang, 177). Both stories have quite sad undertones but have been enjoyable to read because of the captivating storytelling. On the note of loneliness, perhaps both books can teach us that it is not true that loneliness only happens when one is alone. A person can be surrounded by lots of people and still feel lonely. This loneliness can drive one to extreme behavior even to the point of committing suicide, though we must be careful not to hastily point to only one reason why a person may have suicidal ideations. Suicide is not caused by only one thing, rather a combination of many issues internally and externally, one of which is loneliness. Certain studies have shown that emotional pains can sometimes be recognized by the brain as being similar to that of physical pains. The pain of losing a loved one registers in the brain as an extreme physical pain. This is why many people find themselves in a state of shock after a painful separation. “Social and physical pain might rely on overlapping neural processes” (Eisenberger, Lieberman, 298). Charlie feels that he is...

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