The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾

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

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:

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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,...

(The entire section contains 519 words.)

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