The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Charlie’s English teacher, Bill, takes an interest in Charlie’s potential at the beginning of the school year and lends him books for extra reading. Besides Aunt Helen, Bill is one of the few adults who make Charlie feel special and give him confidence in his intellectual abilities. Bill even invites Charlie to his house for lunch, and later to his wedding. As a younger adult who isn’t too far removed from his own teenage years, Bill is able to be both a mentor and a trusted confidant to Charlie, and he provides Charlie with a trusting, healthy relationship with an adult male—something Charlie doesn’t experience with his dad or older brother. Bill is the person Charlie trusts with the information about his sister getting hit, in response to which Bill explains that people accept the sort of love they think they deserve. This becomes one of the novel’s main lessons about how to relate to other people, as Charlie interprets it to mean that he has to love himself before he can love or be loved by anyone else. Bill also demonstrates another form of healthy masculinity for Charlie by being an attentive, nonjudgmental lister and by being gentle and kind.

Bill Quotes in The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The The Perks of Being a Wallflower quotes below are all either spoken by Bill or refer to Bill. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Gallery Books edition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower published in 1999.
Part 1 Quotes

My advanced English teacher asked me to call him “Bill” when we’re not in class, and he gave me another book to read. He says that I have great skill at reading and understanding language, and he wanted me to write an essay about To Kill a Mockingbird.

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Bill
Related Symbols: Books
Page Number: 9-10
Explanation and Analysis:
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Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.

Related Characters: Bill (speaker), Charlie, Charlie’s Sister
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 2  Quotes

I have decided that maybe I want to write when I grow up. I just don’t know what I would write.

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Bill
Related Symbols: Books
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 4 Quotes

“Charlie. Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not trying to make you feel uncomfortable. I just want you to know that you're very special . . . and the only reason I'm telling you is that I don't know if anyone else ever has.”

Related Characters: Bill (speaker), Charlie
Page Number: 181
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bill Character Timeline in The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The timeline below shows where the character Bill appears in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Charlie’s English teacher asks Charlie to call him “Bill” outside of class, praises his reading and language comprehension skills, and asks him to write... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
On his first essay for Bill, Charlie gets a C for run-on sentences, and Bill suggests that Charlie work on increasing... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Masculinity and Violence Theme Icon
...the hallways at school wearing guys’ jackets, and he thinks about the “idea of property.” Bill notices Charlie’s observations and listens to Charlie as he explains his thoughts. Bill then explains... (full context)
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...characters in the books he reads or thinking about what he writes in his letters. Bill gave him Peter Pan to read, and Charlie recognizes that Bill is trying to teach... (full context)
Part 2 
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
Charlie continues making progress on his extra reading assignments for Bill and earns a B on his report on Peter Pan. Charlie decides he wants to... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
...with the abusive boyfriend at homecoming, and after he promises not to tell anyone including Bill, his sister tells him that they still date in secret and plan to get married... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
...those songs. Charlie writes that he has continued his extra reading and writing assignments for Bill and he notices a trend in the books Bill gives him. Just like the songs... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
...for the next few days, which involve Christmas shopping and celebrating his birthday, December 24. Bill gave him The Catcher in the Rye to read over break, which was Bill’s favorite... (full context)
Part 3
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
...cigarettes make him feel relieved and encouraged to “put his life back together.” After class, Bill calls Charlie’s essay on The Catcher in the Rye his best yet and praises Charlie’s... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...ties something he read in one of the magazines to a quote from one of Bill’s books, This Side of Paradise: “This is not a time for heroes because nobody will... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
Charlie also has a good conversation with Bill about On the Road, during which Bill makes him feel “like a grown-up.” He lets... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Masculinity and Violence Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
...and his dad tells him to “be a man.” Charlie distracts himself by reading Hamlet, Bill’s latest assignment. (full context)
Part 4
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Masculinity and Violence Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
...she says they want to be alone. Charlie starts reading his next book assignment from Bill to distract himself. (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...school, Charlie writes about everyone else’s upcoming plans like graduation and prom. He says that Bill is feeling sentimental about finishing his first year of teaching and he decided not to... (full context)
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...him, too. Thinking about his future graduation, Charlie hopes to be valedictorian and wonders if Bill would help him write that speech. (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...that his friends and sister are all still asleep from the late night. At school, Bill invites Charlie to spend a day with him and his girlfriend at his house.   (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Masculinity and Violence Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
During his lunch at Bill’s house with Bill and his girlfriend, Charlie describes their house as comfortable and filled with... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Charlie hugs both Bill and his girlfriend before he leaves their house, and on the way home he thinks... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
...are for Sam and Patrick. To them he gives his copies of the books that Bill assigned throughout the year with a note written on his typewriter telling them both that... (full context)
...at school without his friends, Charlie feels lonely. One kid calls him “teacher’s pet” after Bill’s class, but Charlie says that didn’t bother him because he thinks the kid “missed the... (full context)
Epilogue
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
...feel better. Patrick and Sam promise to drive Charlie through the tunnel once he’s released. Bill and his girlfriend visit Charlie and invite him to their wedding, and Charlie writes that... (full context)