The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ Analysis

Sue Townsend

Form and Content

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ is a first-person account of the day-to-day events in the life of a young boy in Midlands England in the early 1980’s. Because of the diary style of narration, all the characters and events are presented through the eyes of Adrian Mole. Nevertheless, the reader comes to know intimately not only Adrian but also the other characters in his family and his school. Adrian’s diary is understated, ironic, and humorous in tone. He is a naïve, even a comic, character, yet his dilemmas are so human and universal that the reader sympathizes with him and grows to love him.

Adrian’s diary opens on New Year’s Day of his thirteenth year. From the opening lines, it is clear that he is a naïve and self-involved young adolescent. He has spots on his chin, and this adolescent preoccupation is of more importance to him than his mother’s affair with their neighbor, Mr. Lucas. Adrian blindly accepts Mr. Lucas’ interest in his mother as neighborly kindness and concern, and he reports the fights between his mother and father with little understanding.

Adrian decides to become an intellectual, and he submits some poems to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). At school, he becomes interested in a new girl, Pandora. He joins the Good Samaritans, a school community service group, and is assigned to help Bert Baxter, an old-age pensioner.

Adrian’s world grows more...

(The entire section is 564 words.)