Hello everyone! It’s Day 15 of 30 Day Book Challenge! I actually survived and reached halfway! I gotta say thanks to Cumuloquoise for doing this with me – having a friend to do this is really fun and motivating.
Today, I’d like to share that my favourite male literary character is Charlie Kelmeckis from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Yah. I’m surprised myself. My initial thoughts were Atticus Finch, Dorian Gray, Peter Pan, etc… But, let me tell you why.
The book’s back cover describes Charlie as a “shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.” Well, yes, he’s all that and much more. Indeed, this seemingly simple and boring character has more substance than I expected.
I like Charlie Kelmeckis because he seems real and human – one whom we can resonate with, in one way or another. With his honest innocence, intense depth, and intelligent mind, Charlie is a multifaceted character. He’s not perfect, doesn’t try nor claim to be – and I find that inspiring. Plus, he got me thinking about the good things and what really matters in life.
Charlie reminds me of Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. They are in that age where they are figuring themselves out and finding themselves to the world. He shares a whole range of topics – figuring out love, having a gay friend, dealing with death and sexual assault, his love of music and literature. But, in contrast to Holden who is full of teenage angst, Charlie remains optimistic and wishes good life to all. Despite all the things the difficulties he has faced, he does not bear grudges on anyone.
Truly, Charlie was a pure good soul through and through – something I admire in him. He has this unique ability to put other people’s happiness before his own. He’s completely selfless and genuinely kind. He sees the good in people, even in the ones who’ve clearly done him wrong.
And, with this, Charlie reminds me of Christopher – the kid from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Charlie is an autistic child who appreciates fiction books with “heavy” themes, gets straight A’s in all his subject, but he is mentally slow and socially awkward. For example, despite all his book readings, new insights and learning experiences, the writing style in his letters barely matured. Instead, he counts every kiss, every hug, and every kind word spoken to him. He relishes these moments, and never fails to recognise their worth. Even being a part of an inside joke makes him genuinely happy and appreciative.
And this makes me feel for him even more. Charlie is always in his head, trying to think through some of life’s great mysteries. He has all sorts of ideas on what he wants to be when he gets older, but he never seems to actually do anything to work toward those goals. He is reminds me of Charlie Gordon from Flowers of Algernon. He can only grow so much – but, in the end, he still regresses to his status quo. Charlie and his story would surely tug your heartstrings.
I can talk and talk but the best way to understand me is for you to know him too. To allow you to know Charlie Kelmeckis more, here are some excerpts of his personal thoughts and reflections:
“I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”
“I look at people holding hands in the hallways, and I try to think about how it all works. At the school dances, I sit in the background, and I tap my toe, and I wonder how many couples will dance to ‘their song.’ In the hallways, I see the girls wearing the guys’ jackets, and I think about the idea of property. And I wonder if anyone is really happy. I hope they are. I really hope they are.”
“It’s much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and than make the choice to share it with other people. You can’t just sit their and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things. I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to be who I really am. And I’m going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn’t do or what they didn’t know. I don’t know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It’s just different. Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it’s okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite.”
Can you believe how one simple “wallflower” reminded me of other characters I liked and, at the same time, gave me fresh insight about life. How can he not be my favourite? So, yes. My favourite male character is Charlie Kelmeckis.
How about you? If you’re not sure yet, take your time and check out Cumuloquoise’s choice for favourite male character first. I’m sure her choice will be one of the awesome ones! Tata!