Reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid reminded me of watching the YouTube video about the little boy on Ellen that I had showed earlier this semester. A big part of the humor is based on the fact that Greg thinks he is so mature and knowledgeable, comparing himself to not only his peers, but the adults in his life as well. I couldn’t help but laugh as he wrote things like, “I’m sure Dad thinks I’ve got a screw loose or something” (13). As I was considering this, I noticed that this is written primarily as a children’s book, and realized the average child would not understand how his “maturity” is humorous. As a matter of fact, they would probably take it just as seriously and agree that he is smarter than the adults and other kids in his life.
Unlike me reading it from the perspective of a college student (and adult, I guess), children would find the entertainment and humor in the comical drawings and relatable aspects of middle school, like the cheese touch and being forced to participate in the school play. They would enjoy reading about how Greg avoided his punishments by going to Rowley’s house and took advantage of the role of Safety Patrol.
Overall, I believe Kinney works with humor in two different ways in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. In one way, he uses the ignorant innocence of children to amuse adults and make them laugh, while writing specifically for children. He continues to make the children laugh as he explores the daily life of Greg and all the trouble and humor that comes with it.