Diary of a Wimpy Kid

by

Jeff Kinney

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Themes and Colors
Social Status and Friendship Theme Icon
Ideals of Masculinity  Theme Icon
Bullying Theme Icon
Independence and Growing Up Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Social Status and Friendship

Greg Heffley is obsessed with fitting in and rising to the top of the social hierarchy of his middle school. However much his efforts to be “cool” tend to backfire, popularity is the goal that most shapes his behavior and decisions. While Greg thinks that popularity will earn him the respect and admiration of his peers (especially girls), Greg’s preoccupation with his social position undermines his relationships with his friends, parents, and wider peer group…

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Ideals of Masculinity

As he enters middle school, Greg is formally leaving childhood and entering the world of adolescence—a world, as he learns, with a whole range of new and perplexing rules about masculinity and relationships with girls. As a so-called “wimpy kid” who hasn’t had a growth spurt yet, Greg struggles to find his place in a social order that values particular expressions of masculinity and punishes those who deviate from that ideal.

Greg likes girls and…

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Bullying

In Greg’s middle school, deviation from social norms is often punished with bullying. One of Greg’s central aims is to avoid any behavior that could make him a target for school bullies—like wearing the wrong clothes, being bad at sports, or having an embarrassing nickname. Ultimately, however, he chooses to protect his “uncool” best friend Rowley from school bullies when he takes responsibility for touching “the Cheese,” a moldy bit of cheese left out…

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Independence and Growing Up

Greg experiences the transition to middle school as a step away from childhood and into adulthood. However, he still finds that his parents and teachers have a great deal of control over his life and choices, which is a source of tension as he develops his own ideas about how he wants to spend his time.

Greg loves video games and wants to spend as much time as possible playing them. However, his parents disagree…

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