“The Cheese” is a moldy bit of cheese left out on the school basketball court. Legend holds that anyone who touches the Cheese is infected with the “Cheese Touch,” which they can pass to others by touching them. Consequently, students who are thought to have the Cheese Touch are socially ostracized and treated as if they are literally infections. The Cheese Touch thus symbolizes the bullying and exclusion of certain students based on largely arbitrary factors. In Greg’s middle school, social status is all-important, and students struggle to fit in and be perceived as “cool”—an elusive designation that relies on measures such as clothes, wealth, looks, and athletic ability. Students who happen to fall outside those prevailing norms, like Greg’s “weird” neighbor, Fregley, are socially excluded. The Cheese Touch illustrates what happens to those who don’t conform to certain standards of behavior, speaking, and even dressing. Greg’s preoccupation with popularity might sometimes seem excessive, but the idea of the Cheese Touch emphasizes the high social stakes of fitting in at middle school. For example, one student who had the Cheese Touch, Abe Hall, was bullied so relentlessly that he left school at the end of the year. The Cheese Touch symbolizes the ways that, for young teenagers like Greg, the loss of social status and exclusion from the wider peer community can be devastating.
The Cheese Touch Quotes in Diary of a Wimpy Kid
If the truth ever came out about how the Cheese disappeared, Rowley would be finished. He’d have to move out of the state, and maybe even the country. That’s when I decided to speak up. I told everyone that I knew what happened to the Cheese. I said I was sick of it being on the court, and I just decided to get rid of it once and for all…if I threw away the Cheese, guess what that meant? It meant that I have the Cheese Touch.
Well, if Rowley appreciated what I did for him last week, he hasn’t said it. But we’ve started hanging out after school again, so I guess that means me and him are back to normal. I can honestly say that so far, having the Cheese Touch hasn’t been all that bad.