Intertextuality in The Perks of Being a Wallflower: coming-of-age novels in the twentieth century
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In The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999) by Stephen Chbosky the protagonist, Charlie, reads and comments on many coming-of-age novels. This serves to invoke the converging genres of the coming-of-age novel and the Bildungsroman, and it is this feature of the novel that provides the main focus of the thesis. The chapters will provide comparative analyses of two of the works that Charlie reads: This Side of Paradise (1920) by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Catcher in The Rye (1951) by J. D. Salinger, to show how Chbosky’s novel engages with them and how the coming-of-age novel has developed in the twentieth century. Since The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an epistolary novel and a young adult novel, central features of those genres will also be discussed.