The Perks of Being a Wallflower
In The Perks of Being a Wallfower, the author Stephen Chbosky cleverly explores typical youth themes such as mental health, substance abuse and sexuality, while simultaneously reminding the reader about how exciting it is to be young.
The cast of characters is diverse. The female characters are numerous and as well developed as their male counterparts. Chbosky’s approach is always resolute, even when the content is upsetting. Under the narration, it is hidden a desire to acknowledge the complexities in other people, an understanding that define Charlie, the lead character, as a “Wallflower”.
I think Patrick, one of Charlie’s friends, explains the whole title in the first part of the book “He’s a wallflower”, “You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.”. A wallflower is a seemingly shy person who no one really knows, but often is one of the most interesting individual. He remains at the side at a party or dance, usually near the wall, like some kind of flower. Perhaps this is the real origin of the term, to me it seems like a great definition.
One of the things I found most interesting was Chbosky’s discussion of sexuality. For example, Charlie used to kiss boys in the neighborhood when he was little and this concerned his father. Similarly, Charlie’s grandfather doesn’t like to hug family members, especially the boys. The contrast between the older generations’ fear of homosexuality and Charlie’s acceptance of Patrick is indicative of the way that society’s view on homosexuality was changing in the 1990s.
When I first read the book, I was Charlie. Although our backgrounds were in some ways different, I could live his life through his letters. As Charlie himself said: “It's strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book”. This is the strength of the author’s writing. Instead of trying to mimic the book’s epistolary voice, the movie brings you into this familiar world through the usual cinematic points of view, by way of Charlie’s eyes, voice and flashbacks. The result is marvelous but it cannot compete with Chbosky’s writing.
Another aspect of the story that changed between the book and and film adaptation is the role of the family towards the main character. In the novel many relatives are listed and we can read about some family’s events that occurred in the present and also the past, whilst the movie display few family scenes, which include at most the parents and siblings.
A change I really appreciated was the song that the three characters listen to while they're driving through the tunnel: “Heroes” by David Bowie fits much better than “Landslide”. I cannot imagine that scene with different music.
Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn't stop for anybody.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a classic about a scientist who creates a monster and the awful events he unintentionally causes.
I enjoyed this book, which ultimately questions us what it is to be human. I think the novel provides the fundaments on which every book that has been written about artificial intelligence since Frankenstein rely on. For this particular reason I found it really contemporary, despite being written two hundred years ago, when people could not even imagine what robotics was.
The brilliance of the book lies in Shelley’s depiction of the creature. She could have made him a zombie-like monster and typical murderous villain, but instead she infused him with a brilliant mind and a complicated heart. The agony he feels is represented as so real that you can’t help but empathize with his unnatural existence and doomed crisis. In many ways, he is much more sympathetic than his creator, and that’s what makes it such a fascinating read.
I liked the fact that although Frankenstein sees his monster as a brutal demon, the book allows readers to see events from the monster's perspective. I liked the chapters in the story that were narrated by the monster because I sympathised with his loneliness, while I thought Victor Frankenstein was arrogant and self-righteous. Eventually it is Frankenstein who must answer for the monstrous act committed by his creation.
Generally this book can be considered as a horror story but I have to disagree. More than anything else this is a sad book, when you think about what would have happened if the monster had not been so alone, and if every human had not rejected him in the way they did. The hostile view towards the creature brought him to act as what he never wanted to be.
There are more differences between the book and the film adaptation from 1931 than there are similarities. A notable variation is the articulation of the monster's speech. In Shelley's book, the creature taught himself to read with books of classic literature and he also learns to speak clearly. In the 1931 film, the creature is completely mute except for grunts and growls. In this way the creature’s thoughts are not expressed and we cannot get to know his character as deep as in the book.
In Mary Shelley's original novel, the creature's savage behavior is his conscious decision against his maltreatment because of his inhuman appearance, whilst in the film adaptation it is said that his condition is principally caused by Frankenstein's assistant Fritz, who has provided a inadequate brain to be used for the creature. This change in the plot suggests that the monster's brutal behavior could not be overcome by the development of consciousness.
Being a 86 years old movie made me realized how much the cinema industry as changed since then. Camera movements are nearly absent, the actors tend to move towards the scene while the camera follows the characters less frequently. Close-up shots happen often to stress the importance of what is taking place.
While I was watching the movie I did not notice the soundtrack very much with few exceptions. Therefore I believe they wanted to underline the most meaningful parts trying to catch the viewers’ attention.
Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.
Stop Wasting Time
Among all the recommended videos I chose the one entitled “Stop Wasting Time” because I needed some kind of motivation to start working on my homework and I guessed this could be the most appropriate one.
While watching the video I kept seeing myself as the author and I realized that what he was talking about actually happens to me all time! The “I’ll do it later”, the “putting things off”, I deal with them more than I want to admit. For example, I always hand in my homework just before the deadline, though I could have done that long time ago. I ignore some important decisions or problems I have to deal with until I necessarily need to act. And it is so normal for me to miss opportunities for buying tickets to concerts or parties.
It is an annoying habit because I always deceive myself thinking things will still be alright even if I postpone them; at first this makes me feel comfortable, but at the same time I worry about it and I think it should be a better idea just to work at the moment. If the amount of comfort is greater than the concern, I persuade myself into procrastinate. In the other case I try to wait as little as possible.
However, I have to do that anyway so I always end up with doing it while I should be doing something else. It is a huge sign of laziness.
An unpleasant aspect of procrastination is the decrease in quality of the work that must be delivered: doing something at the last minute can compromise the excellence, forcing you to skip some tasks that could step up your game.
I think it is important to gain some knowledge on how to defeat this habit because as you further your education I will no longer be able to leave things to the last minute. When works get bigger they require more planning and if you have not learned the skills to plan before, the result will not be successful.
Good things DO NOT come to those who wait, So don’t leave it to fate, your life deserves to be great, Be the best version of you, before it’s too late.
This quote inspired me because I feel the author really got to the point and said what we need to hear.
In my view, people of my age need to receive some piece of advice about the importance of working hard and not giving up when they face their first big obstacles. Many children can be demoralized when they have to challenge issues which may seem impossible to get over.