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Last Updated on August 5, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 519

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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 details the typically turbulent teenage life of its protagonist and diarist, Adrian Mole. Due to its humor and social satire, it became (along with other books in the series, such as The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole) one of the popular books of the 1980s, inspiring an equally popular TV and radio show. Many of the quotes from this book series have become part of popular culture culture. In particular, the humorous way they deal with the teenage mindset resonates with people. For example, consider this excerpt:

Now I know I am an intellectual. I saw Malcolm Muggeridge on the television last night, and I understood every word. It all adds up. A bad home, poor diet, not liking punk. I think I will join the library and see what happens. It is a pity there aren't anymore intellectuals living round here. Mr. Lucas wears corduroy trousers, but he's an insurance man. Just my luck.

Adrian Mole is always concerned about his appearance, which he sometimes loves (“My skin is dead good. I think it must be a combination of being in love and Lucozade”) but mostly hates:

I think the spot is a boil. Just my luck to have it where everybody can see it. I pointed out to my mother that I hadn't had any vitamin C today. She said, "Go and buy an orange, then."

To make himself feel better, he will sometimes criticize the appearances and actions of others. One of his main targets is his parents.

8.45 a.m. My mother is in the hospital grounds smoking a cigarette. She is looking old and haggard. All the debauchery is catching up with her.

He paints his parents as highly irresponsible:

My father got the dog drunk on cherry brandy at the party last night. If the RSPCA hear about it he could get done.

Their eventual breakup becomes a major source of his teenage angst.

Had a long talk with Mr Dock. I explained that I was one-parent family child with an unemployed, bad-tempered father. Mr Dock said he wouldn't care if I was the offspring of a black, lesbian one-legged mother and Arab, leprous, humpbacked-dwarf father as long as my essays were lucid, intelligent and unpretentious.

He eventually finds solace in his relationship with his first-ever girlfriend, Pandora:

Pandora burnt her collection of Jackie comics, she said that they "don't bear feminist analysis" and she "wouldn't like them to get into young girls' hands."

Pandora and I had a frank talk about our relationship tonight. She doesn't want to marry me in two years' time! She wants to have a career instead! . . . Naturally I am devastated by the blow. I told her I wouldn't mind her having a little job in a cake shop or something after our wedding.

and his writing, and other intellectual pursuits, which become increasingly pretentious. For example, he likes to send poems in to the BBC, such as the following:

The trees are stark naked
Their autumnal clothes
Litter the pavements
Council sweepers apply fire
Thus creating municipal pyres
I, Adrian Mole
Kick them
And burn my Hush Puppies