There is a poem named "A Person, A Paper, A Promise " in the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Why does Charlie like this poem?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The chief reasons why a person responds to a poem usually have to do with the themes, connotations, and denotations, as well as the style and sound devices of that poem. The main character of The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a fifteen-year-old boy named Charlie, who writes letters to an unknown recipient, responds, at least in part, to this poem because he relates to some of the descriptions of people, the circumstances of relationships, and, certainly to conditions that are described. Another reason that people often respond to the telling of bizarre things is the fact that they themselves have had experiences that are equally bizarre or similar. Perhaps, then, the strange goings-on of the narrative of the poem enables Charlie to identify with someone else who has also had some troubling experiences.

Some of Charlie's words are, "Maybe it’s sad that these are now memories. And maybe it’s not sad." It appears that this poem expresses a similar observation about the function of memory.

Another observation of Charlie's is this:

I know these will all be stories some day, and our pictures will become old photographs. We all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening.

In the poem that Charlie likes, there is a similar teen angst and questioning. For example, 

Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Innocence: A Question"
because that was the question about his girl
And that's what it was all about...
And he caught his sister
making out on the back porch

These lines strike at similar experiences that Charlie has had; they speak to him, they confirm for him that he is not alone in the chaos of his dark nights and days of conflict and efforts to form friendships and find love.

Read the study guide:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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