Samantha Phillips, “Do We Change?”

Recently, the disconnect between students and literature is becoming greater each year. Students do not realize that literature is timeless, even if it was written 100 years ago. Even though means of communication and overall being in the world has changed, the messages we can receive through literature remain the same. The goal of this project is to remind students that just because something is from the past does not mean that it is not still relatable. 

My project takes the themes present within the 1999 novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and brings them into modern day light. The overall vision for this project is to take a text that many students often read and relate to and explore how it is still applicable even when they’re older. The experiences and thought processes expressed by the characters are still what many people experience today. Books are not something that you read once and then leave it to sit on a shelf for years because you believe it can no longer mean anything. By taking the novel and making it modern, I hope to remind students of the timeless quality that literature can have. I will be doing black-out poetry of the book, which I have admired for many years. I have taken the most relatable scenes from the novel to black-out. The most important aspect of this project is transforming not only the text, but the novel as well. The novel was written in letters, but to no one in particular. In order to bring this to modern day, each “letter” will be turned into an “email”, but ones that are saved in drafts. I decided to use emails rather than texts because it is impossible to not send a message. However, once a letter or email is written, it can be saved and never sent. One theme that is pertinent throughout the novel is the idea of mixtapes. In order to modernize this aspect, I made a Spotify playlist rather than a classic mixtape. I employed this aspect to the online portion of this project.

The overall point of this project is to show how even as the times change, the life lessons we experience do not. We can still learn from literature, and this project will hopefully remind students that you can still go back and learn from literature even if it is something of the past.

Works Cited: Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Pocket Books, 1999).

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