“The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole” is a realistic novel because it is written in the form of a diary. It exudes with humor and readers are really amused.
The theme of this confessional novel are problems encountered by the young man in puberty, and his transition from childhood to adulthood. Adrian is faced with many dilemmas, feelings, enthusiasms and disappointments, as he slowly creates its own identity.
The novel gained popularity mainly because the image of Adrian is something all of his peers can relate to. Readers will come across problems that they had growing up. But no one will be troubled by them because Adrian described everything in a very fun and humorous way.
From Adrian’s writing, we can learn a lot about how a middle-class family lived in England, in the 1980s. He touched an unemployment, family disintegration, and economic uncertainty.
Adrian’s diary expresses his thoughts and feelings and gives us a personal judgment for different events. Adrian is the main character of the novel and through his diary the reader can get his opinion about the events. Through Adrian’s diary we’ll find out a lot about his feelings, dreams and hopes, often much more than different “external events”.
The language of the novel is written simplistically, which is characteristic of a form of writing like a diary. Jargon is often used since this is a characteristic of young people speech.
Theme: problems encountered by the young man in puberty, and the transition from childhood to adulthood
The thirteen years old boy Adrian Mole decided to write a journal and when he saw a TV show from the writer Malcolm Muggeridge he decided to send his poems to him. Adrian thought of himself as an intellectual because he understood every word on the show.
Soon after sending the poems he got a reply. His poems were declined, but John Tydeman told him to keep on trying because he is going to get many more negative answers before he gets something published.
Adrian was in puberty and had a slight problem with pimples and he was a bit chubby. His parents were always fighting. His family was thrilled when he got a response for his poems. He wrote that down in his journal besides the fact that he would sometimes read his poems in school hoping that one of the teachers will ask him what is he reading and give him a feedback on his poems. Unfortunately that never happened.
Adrian joined a society and started taking care of Bert Baxter, an old 89 years old man. He used to work with horses, and he was a communist. Because of his work, Adrian was allowed to miss one class on Monday, and that was Math.
A new student came into Adrian’s class, and he fell in love with her. Her name was Pandora Brithwaite. She came from a wealthy family and lived in a beautiful street. Her parents were intellectuals and gave her a horse. Despite everything she rather entertained herself with Adrian’s friend Nigel.
Soon Adrian’s mom got a job, and at the same time, she started having an affair with their neighbor Lucas. His parents found a lawyer and decided to get a divorce. Adrian never mentioned that they got divorced, but we can believe they did since his mother moved to Sheffield with Lucas.
Adrian got a job as a paper delivery boy to earn his allowance. Half of everything he earned went to a bully named Barry Kent who was his classmate. His father tried everything to protect him, but nothing worked. Adrian got beat up by Barry. In the end, his grandmother interferes, and she was successful at solving the problem. Barry had to give all of the money back.
His father found another woman named Doreen Slater. They were co-workers. A few days later he got fired from his job, and the fear for survival crawled into their house.
Adrian became aware of the fact that his father wasn’t able to take care of him anymore, so he took up all of the work. He was cleaning, cooking, taking care of his dog. He expressed a strong will to become a veterinarian one day, but he also wanted to be a writer.
To be able to help Adriansfather, Doreen moved in with her son. After a few days, Adrian got rebellious and decided to wear red socks to school. That was forbidden because the students could only wear red socks. The principle sent him home because of that, and Pandora started looking at him with great admiration. She was amazed at his attitude, and they ended up in a relationship.
Pandora spent the summer with her parents in Tunis. She turned off her phone because Adrian spent a lot of money calling her.
Bert Baxter got very ill and ended up in a hospital. Since he was too weak to take care of himself, he moved in with Adrian. Then he moved to Pandoras house and then to family Singh. Finally, he went to a nursing home.
Adrian visited his mother in Sheffield and went to Scotland with her and Lucas. He was very bore3d and that annoyed Lucas. Soon he met an American Hamish who was a bit crazy and he was his age.
A little after that Adrian had to go to the hospital to get his tonsils out. His father told him that he was on the waiting list since he was five. He was at the hospital for a week.
Pandora suggested to Adrian that they could start up a magazine. Adrian used it to write an article named “The truth about Barry Kent”. The magazine never became famous because Barry Kent bought the only copy of it.
By the end of the year, his mother broke up with Lucas and came home. His father was thrilled. Adrian described it as a déjà-vu.
The Christmas show was near, and Pandora was in it with Adrian. The theme was the birth of Christ, and the two of them were the parents of baby Jesus. At the end of the year, Adrian wrote down 10 New Year decisions into his diary.
Bert got married to Queenie and Adrian sent his poems regularly to BBC.
Soon there was a meeting of a club where Pandora was with Barbara Boyer. She was very attractive women whose thoughts about disarming NATO were not in line with Pandora’s. Adrian couldn’t resist Barbara, and they got into a relationship. She didn’t want to hurt Pandora, so she ended it.
Adrian confessed to Nigel that he was with Barbara and he spread it all around school. Pandora heard the news, so she decided to ignore the fact that Adrian’s birthday was coming.
A day later UK got into a war with Argentina. Adrian leaned his nose gently on a model airplane he was building to smell the glue. He wasn’t thinking clearly and his nose got glued to the plane. He ended up in to hospital and the doctor was convinced that Adrian was sniffing glue.
After that, he called Pandora, and she forgave him for cheating on her. He was hoping that she will arrive at the hospital any time now and as he was waiting, he realized that the only thing that could save him from going insane was love.
Whilehe was writing the journal he wasn’t only writing about his life and family. We can also lear a lot about the situation in England and the life of the migrants. He was describing the relation between the races and important events such as the weeding of Charles and Diana.
Characters: Adrian, Pandora, Bert Bexter
Adrian – good, honest, slightly naive and confused boy who just hit puberty. He decided to start writing a diary in which he expresses his thoughts on world issues, ethics and morality, God, but primarily deals with himself and his problems. He is tormented by his own appearance, above all the pimples on the face, undeveloped chest, and ears. His childhood in less than idyllic, his parents have distant relationship. He criticizes the parents because of their propensity to alcohol, which leads to frequent arguing. Because of that, he decided not to drink a drop of alcohol when he grows up. The main event in his family is certainly a temporary separation of the parents, which he tolerates well because he believes that this is yet another parent nonsense, because he is too oriented to himself and his problems. Often, he is interested in what the neighbors are doing, and that entertains him. However, despite acting as if he doesn’t care for the parents, when his father thought of suicide, he removes all sharp objects from the bathroom, which proves that he is a very caring son. He is never the one to take the first step – this is evident from the relationship with Pandora, the girl he loves. She is the one to make the first step and tells him she is in love with him. We can conclude that even though he was in puberty, he was not a rebel but rather traditional boy who lived in a chaotic environment.
Pandora – a girl who came to Adrian’s class 15 days after he began writing a diary. Adrian is immediately attracted to her and concludes that he could very easy fall in love with her. Her parents are very wealthy, and she lives in a fashionable district. She has her own horse, and she always travels abroad on holidays. She is self-conscious and in a lot of things different from Adrian.
Adrian’s mother – a woman who is frustrated with the role of wife and wants to get rid of these shackles. She wants to be emancipated, but she replaced her husband with an even worse man, which treats women poorly. When she realized that, she returned to her husband.
Grandma – Adrian’s grandmother and his father’s mother. 76 years old. She is very sincere, determined and practical. Helps Adrian and his father when the mother leaves. She likes order and cleanliness.
Bert Baxter – elderly man, a pensioner, 89 years old. Adrian helps him in the household. Bert doesn’t want to adapt to the order in life. He is headstrong and he doesn’t care what others think of him. He loves to eat cycle sandwiches and smoking cigarettes in bed. For this reason, the whole bed is filthy. Adrian loves him and they have become great friends, although Adrian didn’t understand why because they have nothing in common.
Sue Townsend Biography
Sue Townsend was born in 1941 in England. She went to Glen Hills in 1950, and after that, she went to an all-women school in south Wigston. Sheleft school when she was 15 and was a housewife before her fist book was published.
She married young at the age of 18 and had three kids. Her husband left her, so she was raising them by herself.
After she had published “The secret diary of Adrian Mole” she became popular all around the world, and the book had millions of copies.
Because of the excellent feedback on her novel she published sequences of it: The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, The True confession of Adrian Mole… Musical and TV shows were made according to her books.
The doctors discovered in 1999 that she had diabetes and she ended up blind because of it. She lives in Leicester today.
Book reports from Sue Townsend