"The Perks of Being a Wallflower," Vocabulary from Part 1

March 21, 2014
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
I will call people by different names or generic names because I don’t want you to find me.
I think he will regret this when he looks back on his life.
The quotation marks around the word "specialist" make it seem special--both in a mocking tone because the specialist is like a rare animal that Charlie has never seen until now, but also in a somewhat admiring tone because the specialist took the time to learn about Charlie before meeting him (which makes him feel special in a strange way).
What was so strange about this was the fact that I had never met this man because he was a “ specialist” and he knew my name even though I wasn’t wearing a name tag like they do in open house.
But it didn’t work and eventually my brother came by the middle school in his Camaro to pick me up.
Kind of like my Aunt Helen and me. I’m sorry. “My Aunt Helen and I.” That’s one thing I learned this week. That and more consistent punctuation.
Incidentally, I only have one cavity, and as much as my dentist asks me to, I just can’t bring myself to floss.
I will make sure to differentiate if something comes up.
mutton chop
In this example sentence, "mutton-chop" is used as a slangy adjective to vividly describe the large sideburns.
He even painted in the mutton-chop sideburns with a grease pencil.
"Jaundice" means "a rough and bitter manner" or "yellowing of the skin from an accumulation of bile pigment"--neither definition is intended, since the example sentence is seemingly mentioning random vocabulary. But "jaundiced" means "affected by distaste" and this could be the author's tone towards the teacher's suggestion, because even though Charlie tries to follow it, it's the opposite of the style and voice in which the novel is developed.
He also said that I should use the vocabulary words that I learn in class like “ corpulent” and “jaundice.”
I would use them here, but I really don’t think they are appropriate in this format.
In this example sentence, the word "pragmatic" is used in contrast to someone who is more affectionate, such as someone who would compliment someone else. It also contrasts with the focus on beauty, which can be seen as useless.
The fact that one of these ladies was my mom made me feel particularly sad because my mom is beautiful. And she’s always on a diet. Sometimes, my dad calls her beautiful, but she cannot hear him. Incidentally, my dad is a very good husband. He’s just pragmatic.
But then again, I think this would decrease productivity.
“What would a mom do if she couldn’t fuss over you and make you clean your room? And what would you do without her fussing and making you do it? Everyone needs a mom. And a mom knows this. And it gives her a sense of purpose. You get it?”
He listened, and he nodded and made “ affirmation” sounds.
My sister then said that it was all her fault, that she was provoking him, but my dad said it was no excuse.
I hope I haven’t let Him down regardless.
Compare with "regardless" in this list. The placement of the two words is a clue to their parts of speech: "regardless" is used as an adverb; and while "nevertheless" is also an adverb, because it's at the beginning of the example sentence, it is acting as a conjunction (synonymous with "however") that connects this thought to the previous one in the novel.
Nevertheless, I am trying to participate.
My professor is making me read twenty-seven books this weekend, and my girlfriend needs me to paint signs for her protest rally Tuesday.
I went down to the concession stand and bought three boxes of nachos and a diet coke for Sam.
My brother used the opportunity to throw a big party with beer and everything.
This one couple, whom I was told later were very popular and in love, stumbled into my room and asked if I minded them using it.
Compare with "cocky" in the list for Part 3. "Smug" connects to self-satisfaction, which is often displayed to others, while "cocky" is a flashier show of confidence, which may or may not connect to self-satisfaction.
The boy looked kind of smug.
Bob actually looked a little nervous, which I was later told was paranoia.
I heard some muffled voices, and Brad seemed upset, but I didn’t think it was any of my business, so I went back to the kitchen.
When we hit the tunnel, all the sound got scooped up into a vacuum, and it was replaced by a song on the tape player.

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