(Stephen Chbosky / MTV Books)

Arts and Entertainment

Creative Essay: Dear Charlie, why is the world so fake?

The aim of the letters for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is to represent and discuss the story in a meaningful way, particularly the life of the 15-year-old protagonist named Charlie, who experiences a mental illness. Through the course of Charlie’s first year of high school, he narrates his experiences through a series of…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/meganhackbarth/" target="_self">Megan Hackbarth</a>

Megan Hackbarth

May 9, 2020

The aim of the letters for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is to represent and discuss the story in a meaningful way, particularly the life of the 15-year-old protagonist named Charlie, who experiences a mental illness. Through the course of Charlie’s first year of high school, he narrates his experiences through a series of letters he writes to an anonymous person. Charlie describes his relationships with his family and friends along with the guilt and concerns he feels for others. Through the letters, Charlie is shown to be shy and reaching out for help.

From the epistolary of letters, Charlie is reaching out to an anonymous person, “I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand,” Chbosky wrote. Charlie goes through deep hardships with family, friends and his repressed memories. In his letters, Charlie has shown growth and self-healing. Writing gives Charlie the ability to take control and make himself feel comfortable.

I wrote three (fictional) letters to Charlie to honor Charlie’s character from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (written by Stephen Chbosky) and the importance of writing to self-heal and self-discover. The first letter (out of three) is below. The other two letters will be posted shortly after.

Letter Number One

Dear Charlie,

I am glad you are able to write to me this year. I’m glad you listened to her. She told me the same thing. I realized from her that I need to take a moment and learn to relax. I am in high school and life really sucks. I want someone to listen to me. I want someone to just stop for just a second to appreciate the world and its beauty. And I’m glad it’s you.

Just a heads up, and I’m sorry, my grammar is really bad and it’s going to be a roller coaster. Honest. Also, I’m not going to write the dates on these because I know people are going to be so damn nosy. Thanks.

Many people I met seem blind. Not literally of course, just figuratively. People are always distracted now. Is it because of technology? Or is it their humanistic and sinful desire to fit in with the pop culture of clothes and beauty and the other shitty stuff? It hurts.

I just visited a middle school friend of mine. Currently, she is only a couple years younger than me. Dang, she changed. She started applying makeup to cover up her crusty face and used some eyebrow pencil to darken her eyebrows that are nonexistent over her thin eyes.

That’s not the bad part. Don’t take me the wrong way, if makeup makes a person confident, go for it, I respect self-confidence. But the thing that made me downright depressed was her personality change and the way she dresses and the way she treated me. She even got a purse!

First off, I don’t have an attitude problem. She made it sound like she was superior to me because of how she “fit in” into society because of the way she dressed and the purse she owned. She just threw shade at me, because I didn’t have the nicest clothes or the nicest phone or the nicest looks. Do you honestly need $50 in a purse as a young teenager? What could you possibly buy? Boba, and that’s pretty much it.

My mother told me not to worry about others, but seriously, the people I literally breathe the same air with are the future of America, the future of this world.

I laugh about how these kids will probably or might be the people who fly our society to Mars. I just imagine watching the rocket blow up halfway to Mars. That’s sad. I know. I just see them as the future couch potatoes and losers who just drag the social economy down with their obesity. They remind me of the fat people in the movie Wall-E.

Obviously, I can’t say this in public. At least I know that. People don’t want to hear the so-called sarcasm and exaggeration. Fine, maybe I am over the top. Seriously, I just feel like a philosopher who questions our world.

It is very frightening to know the people next to me in class who cheat on every single one of their tests and homework may end up be our future doctors and engineers and pilots.

(Image courtesy of Megan Hackbarth)

Would you want a surgeon who cheated on every single medical school exam and cheated on their MCATs to perform open-heart surgery on you? Personally, I wouldn’t.

So, from this, how can we as a society grow and improve from this? Because we all know America is filled with the dumbest and laziest kids. I even looked up online, “How can we make our country less dumb?”

A bunch of opinionated articles popped up. The first link I looked at was a Washington Post article written by Dana Milbank. His first words were, “My fellow Americans, we are a deeply stupid nation.”

I praise that dude. I thought he was going to mention something about the kids and what we can do to end this madness. But he started talking about politics. I didn’t finish. My computer died.

Since we’re still on the topic of stupid people in America, I would like to mention something. I got emotional on the plane trip from a small country back to America, I thought really hard. My brain hurts.

In that country, I encountered many people on the streets and dark alleys of the city I went to. The food was good. But it was sad to see so many people from young children to middle-aged adults to old senior citizens selling fruit or meat or dairy or bags.

They all look so tired. They all looked so damn poor. I felt bad. I donated some of my money to some beggars, but I knew it didn’t really help. The poor seem to stay poor. Then, I think about America.

When I think of America, I think about the children there. Over in America, I encounter high school students who abuse their parents for the newest toys and money. They don’t respect them. I understand some family relationships are troubling but the people I met were just so damn materialistic.

They also cared little about the environment and education. It’s sad to see teenagers caring very little in their studies as they just hate and disrespect their teachers. There are young kids on the other side of the world from third world countries who are begging on the streets for food and education (even if not the best quality) would be their dream come true. I even visited a country which is considered a successful country, but I still felt so damn sad.

I’m sorry, Charlie. I’m sorry I yelled all this damn negativity to your face. I wish I could explain my feelings better. I’m going to try to be more thoughtful and honest. And of course, a happier person. I’ll try. Honest.

With love,

Your friend