"The Perks of Being a Wallflower," Vocabulary from Part 2

Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" chronicles a very eventful freshman year of high school.

Learn these word lists for the novel: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4-Epilogue

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. symbolize
    express indirectly by an image, form, or model
    Mary Elizabeth is a very interesting person because she has a tattoo that symbolizes Buddhism and a belly button ring and wears her hair to make somebody mad, but when she’s in charge of something, she acts like my dad when he comes home from a “long day.”
    The adjective "interesting" is a nice way of saying that Mary Elizabeth is a strange mix of moods. Buddhism emphasizes calm detachment from worldly things, but her tattoo, belly ring, and hair show an opposite nature.
  2. assume
    take on a certain form, attribute, or aspect
    I don’t want to go into detail about it because it’s pretty private stuff, but I will say that Brad assumed the role of the girl in terms of where you put things.
    The Latin "sumere" means "to take"--this can be seen in the many definitions of "assume": 1) take to be true (the most frequently used definition); 2) take on titles, offices, duties, or responsibilities; 3) take control without authority; 4) take on as one's own the debts of another; 5) take up someone's soul into heaven.
  3. snob
    a person regarded as arrogant and annoying
    She is a senior, and she says that my sister is a tease and a snob.
  4. disrespectful
    exhibiting lack of regard; rude and discourteous
    I would write it out for you, but I think that would be disrespectful to Sam.
  5. distracted
    having the attention diverted especially because of anxiety
    It’s just that he always looks distracted.
  6. reputation
    notoriety for some particular characteristic
    My sister also said that Sam had a reputation when she was a sophomore.
  7. intense
    extremely sharp
    Then, they repeated the experiment, but they replaced the food with something that gave the rat or mouse intense pleasure.
  8. aggressive
    characteristic of an enemy or one eager to fight
    I used to play sports when I was little, and I was actually very good, but the problem was that it used to make me too aggressive, so the doctors told my mom I would have to stop.
  9. exaggeration
    extravagant embellishment
    I know you think what I’m about to write is an exaggeration, but I promise you that it isn’t.
    In Latin, "extra" means "outside" and "vagari" means "to wander"--an extravagant exaggeration wanders outside the truth so much that it's not believable. The example sentence is the narrator Charlie's way of assuring the readers that this story is true; it is the author's way of building suspense to keep the readers turning the pages of the fictional novel.
  10. suburb
    a residential district located on the outskirts of a city
    My grandfather usually just complains about black people moving into the old neighborhood, and then my sister gets upset at him, and then my grandfather tells her that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about because she lives in the suburbs.
  11. reveal
    make known to the public information previously kept secret
    Then, at the end, you have a party, and all the people reveal who they really are as they give their last presents.
  12. supposedly
    believed or reputed to be the case
    And supposedly the party at the end is always the best of the year.
  13. documentary
    a film presenting the facts about a person or event
    I found an article about a documentary movie about Harvey Milk. And when I couldn’t find the movie, I just searched for his name, and I found this book.
  14. sexist
    discriminatory on the basis of gender roles
    My sister made some remark about how cheerleading is stupid and sexist, and my brother told her to shut up.
  15. deny
    declare untrue; contradict
    My brother said that although Kelly denies this, he’s sure that she dropped the book on purpose.
  16. nostalgic
    unhappy about being away and longing for familiar things
    They spent the rest of the afternoon playing old video games like Donkey Kong and feeling nostalgic, which as a general statement, I found sad and sweet.
  17. sorority
    a social club for female undergraduates
    My sister spent the next ten minutes denouncing the Greek system of sororities and fraternities.
    The Latin "soror" means "sister" and "frater" means "brother"--members of sororities and fraternities often treat each other like family, but are not as welcoming to outsiders.
  18. sensitive
    being susceptible to the attitudes or feelings of others
    “Oh, you’re such a sensitive new age guy.”
  19. transcendental
    of a system of philosophy emphasizing the spiritual
    Kelly’s favorite book just happens to be Walden by Henry David Thoreau. And Kelly just happened to say that the transcendental movement is a close parallel to this day and age.
  20. auspicious
    auguring favorable circumstances and good luck
    It seems like a rather “ auspicious” beginning.
  21. restrain
    close within bounds, limit, or hold back from movement
    She had to get restraining orders instead.
    The Latin "stringere" means "to bind"--a "restraining order" is a court order that binds a person within certain limits in order to prevent him from threatening another.
  22. exhausted
    depleted of energy, force, or strength
    I read until I was completely exhausted and had to go to sleep.
  23. morbid
    suggesting an unhealthy mental state
    I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this.
  24. vast
    unusually great in size or amount or extent or scope
    It was vast and open and thinly quiet, and I felt so small.
  25. unity
    an undivided or unbroken completeness with nothing wanting
    And you know that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing “ unity.”

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