Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a narrative written like a child’s journal. Greg Heffley’s diary tells the tale of your ordinary video game crazed adolescent trying to survive the worst establishment known to man, Middle School. The book touches all sorts of activities and experiences everyone remembers as a kid. Kinney does a great job relating to middle schoolers reading the book as well as sparking nostalgia in some of the older readers. I remember grabbing diary of a wimpy kid during the scholastic book fair (the greatest thing ever) and talking about it with my fellow classmates who also decided to take the picture book route.
I believe the humor in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes from its relatability or nostalgia mixed with a little bit of absurdity, as well as the satire and irony. For example, Greg runs through a sprinkler, just so his dad thought he was sweaty from playing outside (27). And Rowley’s mom added safety “improvements” to his Halloween costume by cutting a bigger hole in the helmet, covered him in reflective tape, and replaced his sword with a glow stick (65). This is funny because, we’ve all been forced outside by our parents, and we’ve all had a friend with overprotective parents. Going to the extent of running through a sprinkler so your dad doesn’t think you’ve been playing videogames all day is a little much and the glow stick is just hilarious.
There is also a lot of irony in the Diary. Greg is often unaware that he has done something wrong, because he is just an adolescent child. When Greg decides to get serious about weight lifting, him and Rowley start using their own make shift barbell. Rowley is up first and Greg decides to put a funny mask on to test if Rowley is as serious as weight lifting as he is. Obviously, Rowley loses focus, and Greg puts off helping him lift the bar (broom) because he is not serious enough about getting in shape. Greg was the one goofing off and was basically just avoiding exercising. Greg does the same thing during the worm incident when he blames Rowley for chasing home the kindergarteners. When Rowley tells the truth Greg says, “I need to remember to give my friend a lecture about loyalty” (187).
My favorite section was the Christmas section. Everyone has been through a few unsatisfying Christmases. It meant so much what you got as a little kid, but now presents don’t seem to matter. I remember all my brothers and I were past the point of freaking out on Christmas except for my little brother Ryan. While all of us got a few nice gifts, Ryan got everything on his list, but he couldn’t find the one big present he asked for. It turns out my parents left that present wrapped in their room, so when my mom went to get it. When she returned, my little brother was in tears cursing all of the presents he had gotten only to be soothed by another ginormous present.