The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Michael was Charlie’s best friend who committed suicide at the end of 8th grade. In the letter that begins the book, Charlie describes what is was like at school after everyone found out about Michael’s suicide, and the guidance counselors suggested that Michael had “problems at home.” Confronting the loss of his only friend prompts Charlie’s exploration of his own mental health and home life throughout the rest of the year.
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Michael Character Timeline in The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The timeline below shows where the character Michael appears in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Masculinity and Violence Theme Icon
...to after last spring, when he learned from the school loudspeaker that his best friend Michael had died by suicide. Charlie’s brother picked sobbing Charlie up from school and told him... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
...the school guidance counselors, Charlie gets the sense that the counselors are all afraid that Michael’s friends will kill themselves, too. When asked what he thinks, Charlie says (through tears) that... (full context)
Michael’s death makes Charlie wonder if he, too, has “problems at home,” although he concedes that... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Masculinity and Violence Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...high school, and a friend from 8th grade, Susan, has changed: she used to date Michael, but now she acts dumber around boys and doesn’t talk to Charlie anymore. While boys... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...to the football game on Friday night, which is something he used to do with Michael. At the game, Charlie sits next to Patrick, who introduces him to Sam, another senior,... (full context)
Part 2 
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
...for dinner sometime. Charlie writes that the last friend he had over for dinner was Michael, and they stayed up late walking around the neighborhood. His mom told him recently that... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
...is feeling more anxious, but he doesn’t want to tell his mom about it. Wishing Michael and Aunt Helen were around, he admits he doesn't like his birthday, which was the... (full context)
Part 4
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Masculinity and Violence Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...spoken to in the past two weeks is Susan, whom he asked if she misses Michael. She just stared at him blankly, and her friends called Charlie a freak as he... (full context)