"The Perks of Being a Wallflower," Vocabulary from Part 4-Epilogue

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. unfortunately
    by bad luck
    Dear friend, I wish I could report that it’s getting better, but unfortunately it isn’t.
  2. cope
    come to terms with
    It’s like looking at all the students and wondering who’s had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report on top of that.
  3. speechless
    temporarily incapable of speaking
    The man with the moustache behind the information desk was speechless.
    This is usually used when someone is surprised so much that he cannot speak.
  4. ashen
    pale from illness or emotion
    When she saw me approaching the group, her face went “ ashen.”
    Compare with "speechless" in this list--both could be physical reactions to a surprise or shock.
  5. karma
    the effects of a person's actions that determine his destiny
    He says the best thing to do is find a lucky penny when you’re with someone and give the other person the good luck. He believes in karma.
  6. convince
    make realize the truth or validity of something
    I also thought that if anybody saw me talking out loud when I was alone in the car, their looks might convince me that the something that’s wrong with me might be even worse than I thought.
  7. interfere
    come between so as to be hindrance or obstacle
    I wasn’t close enough to really see him, but I didn’t want to interfere with his personal time, so I didn’t walk up to him.
  8. clutch
    hold firmly, usually with one's hands
    One was clutching the knee I bashed in with one of those metal cafeteria chairs.
  9. dusk
    the time of day immediately following sunset
    When things started turning dusk outside, he showed me all the places he and Brad would meet.
    The setting of dusk is significant because it emphasizes the secretive nature of Brad and Patrick's relationship. Dusk is also a transitional time between day and night, and this could symbolize the change between Brad's public and private behavior towards Patrick.
  10. thespian
    of or relating to drama
    “So, Parker and Lily come up here one night. And they are so in love! He even gave her his thespian pin or something.”
  11. rebuttal
    the speech act of refuting by offering a contrary argument
    “NO!” was all I could really say.
    “YES!” was Patrick’s rebuttal.
  12. valedictorian
    the student with the best grades
    “She was the valedictorian. And everyone knew it when she went up to give her speech!”
    In Latin, "vale" means "farewell" and "dicere" means "to say"--a valedictorian is the student who is chosen, usually because of the best grades, to give the farewell speech to the graduating class.
  13. sentimental
    marked by tender, romantic, or nostalgic emotion
    Bill has been very sentimental lately because he can feel his first year of teaching coming to an end.
  14. affect
    have an influence upon
    He apologized for letting his personal life affect his teaching, and I accepted because I didn’t know what else to do.
  15. skeptical
    marked by or given to doubt
    When he gave me the book, Bill said, “Be skeptical about this one. It’s a great book. But try to be a filter, not a sponge.”
  16. straightforward
    free from ambiguity
    It was pretty straightforward, I thought, and the great part is that I took what the author wrote about and put it in terms of my own life.
  17. seething
    in constant agitation
    He was still seething, so he “vented” about Craig.
  18. courteous
    exhibiting politeness and good manners
    He also smiled different and was more “ courteous.”
  19. tipsy
    slightly intoxicated
    My father gave me twenty dollars and the keys to his car, saying, “Thanks for sticking around. It meant a lot to me and the family.” He was tipsy, but meant it just the same.
  20. debris
    the remains of something that has been destroyed
    So, I just opened my locker, put all my old papers and things in my backpack, and walked over the debris of books and papers and notes in the hallway to the parking lot outside.
  21. postpone
    hold back to a later time
    And nobody felt sad as long as we could postpone tomorrow with more nostalgia.
  22. communion
    sharing thoughts and feelings
    The kind of person who would understand how they were better than a diary because there is communion and a diary can be found.
  23. acknowledge
    express recognition of the presence or existence of
    They told me I didn’t speak or acknowledge anyone for a week.
  24. perspective
    a way of regarding situations or topics
    Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there.
  25. participate
    be involved in
    I’m not sure if I will have the time to write any more letters because I might be too busy trying to “ participate.”
    Although the readers would not see how this decision plays out, if followed, it would develop Charlie's character because he'd be more involved in living his life with others, but this would also make him less of a writer, because he'd no longer enjoy the perks of being a wallflower that would push him to the distance necessary to observe, reflect, and record.

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