Essay Including The Line That Really Was The Last Straw

This article is about the original book. For the book series, see Diary of a Wimpy Kid (book series). For the film, see Diary of a Wimpy Kid (film). For other uses, see Diary of a Wimpy Kid (disambiguation).

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a satiricalrealistic fictioncomedy novel for children and teenagers written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. It is the first book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The book is about a boy named Greg Heffley and his struggles to fit in as he begins middle school.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid first appeared on FunBrain in 2004, where it was read 20 million times.[1] The abridged hardcover adaptation was released on April 1, 2007.[citation needed] The book was named New York Times bestseller, among other awards and praise. A film of the same name was released on March 19, 2010. The sequel to the film is Rodrick Rules, followed by Dog Days and The Long Haul.

Plot

As Greg Heffley is getting ready for his first day of middle school, he is teased by his teenage brother Rodrick, because his mom bought him his supplies for school. He has a little brother, a toddler named Manny, who is "spoiled rotten" because he gets everything he wants and also gets away with everything he does wrong. His father, named Frank Heffley, does not encourage Greg's way of life - playing video games all day - rather than going outside and playing sports.

During the first day of school, Greg is immediately rejected and is forced to sit with another outcast named Fregley, from whom Greg tries to keep "a safe distance". He is initially unsure whether his best friend Rowley Jefferson will be able to fit in, as he considers Rowley to be immature. However, Greg strongly believes that he can become popular. He and Rowley decide to take part in wrestling at school, although Greg quits after losing a match against Fregley.

On Halloween, Greg and Rowley go trick-or-treating, but are challenged by teens who spray Greg and Rowley with a water-filled fire extinguisher. Greg tries to threaten them by saying he's going to call the police, but the teenagers start to chase them. The two friends escape and go to Greg's grandmother's house until the teens leave.

After getting few presents for Christmas, Greg decides to play a game with Rowley in which Rowley must ride a bike while Greg tries to knock him off. On one of Greg's tries, the ball gets under the front wheel, which causes Rowley to fall off and break his arm. When Rowley goes to school with a plaster cast, the girls take care of him (carrying his books, feeding him food) which makes Greg jealous. After Rowley's arm heals, he and Greg decide to enroll in the safety patrol program in which they walk younger kids to their homes.

One day, as Greg is walking the kids by himself he chases the young children after scaring them with a stick with worms on it. A neighbour contacts the school and tells them about Greg's unusual behavior. The principal suspects Rowley, as Greg was wearing Rowley's jacket. Rowley is suspended from the safety patrol. Greg later decides to confess the truth, but Rowley has already informed on him, resulting in their friendship breaking off.

Greg tries to befriend Fregley to make Rowley jealous, although he is uncomfortable around Fregley. Resorting to auditioning for the school play (based on The Wizard of Oz) Greg lands the role as a tree, while Patty Farrel is cast as Dorothy, the protagonist of the novel. During the show's opening performance, Rodrick brings a camera to film the play. Greg becomes too nervous to sing, confusing the other "trees" who also fail to sing. Patty gets frustrated and angers Greg, who throws props at Patty, and then everyone gets in the fight, ending the play in chaos.

Feeling desolate from being blatantly rejected by everyone, Greg is surprised and a little happy to see Rowley approaching him at recess, until, he discovers that he's only there to demand back a CD he'd left with Greg. They get into an awkward fist-fight. While they are fighting, the teens who chased them at halloween are drawn to the chaos crowding around Greg and Rowley tumbling around in the dirt. When the leader of the teen gang scares away the rest of the students, they force Greg and Rowley to eat a moldy piece of cheese that has been left on the school grounds for years. Rowley is the first to eat the cheese - except when it comes to Greg's turn, he claims that he's lactose intolerant and that eating cheese will kill him. The principal turns up and the teens disappear. The other students see the cheese in front of Rowley and believe he has eaten from it. Greg takes the blame and claims he ate the cheese. Greg and Rowley mend their friendship.

Background

In 2005, FunBrain and Jeff Kinney released an online version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The website made daily entries until June 2005.[citation needed] The book became an instant hit and the online version received about 20 million views as of 2007.[1] Many online readers requested a printed version. At the 2006 New York Comic-Con Kinney proposed Diary to Charles Kochman, Editorial Director of the ComicArts division of Abrams Books, who purchased the rights to the book. According to Kochman, the two initially conceived it as a book for adults, believing it would appeal to audiences similar to that of the TV series The Wonder Years. Kochman brought it before the Abrams publishing board, which convinced Kinney and Kochman that it would be better aimed toward children.[3][4] In 2007, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, an abridged version of the original online book, was published.[citation needed]

Characters

Gregory Heffley

The main character, Greg, has trouble with family, friends, and his local middle school. He is very concerned about how popular he is at school, and he daydreams a lot about being rich and famous when he grows up. He tries to fit in at his school, but usually he does not succeed. Facing many challenges, Greg attempts to handle them very creatively, but unfortunately his antics often backfire on him.

Rowley Jefferson

Greg's best friend has a larger than average frame. He is always willing to do what Greg tells him, including dangerous stunts. Rowley goes on vacations all the time, which annoys Greg. Rowley is a loyal friend, but he sometimes behaves in an immature or childish manner. He also dresses in an unusual way.

Manny Heffley

Greg's "spoiled" little brother, a three-year-old toddler. He never gets in trouble no matter what, even when he really deserves it. Manny is just getting toilet trained.

Rodrick Heffley

Rodrick is Greg's teenage brother and he never misses a chance to be cruel to Greg. He is known for sleeping excessively in the morning and for his rebellious attitude. Rodrick is part of a garage band called "The Löded Diper". Rodrick will do anything to embarrass Greg and will even cause problems for Manny to make everyone's life miserable.

Sequels

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the first book in an ongoing book franchise. The second, Rodrick Rules was released February 1, 2008 and was listed on the New York Times Best Sellers list for 117 weeks.[5]The Last Straw, the third book in the series, released on January 13, 2009 was on the New York Times Best Sellers list for 65 weeks, peaking at number one.[6]Dog Days was released October 12, 2009 with 217 pages. The book was ranked at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers List for all 25 weeks of inclusion, making Dog Days the #1 Best Selling Book of 2009.[7]The Ugly Truth was released November 9, 2010 with 217 pages.[8] The sixth, Cabin Fever was released November 15, 2011.[9] The seventh, The Third Wheel was released on November 13, 2012. The eighth, Hard Luck was released on November 5, 2013 in the United States and on November 6 in the United Kingdom. The ninth, The Long Haul was released on November 4, 2014 in the US and November 5, 2014 in the UK. The tenth, Old School, was released globally on November 3, 2015.[10] The eleventh, Double Down, was published on November 1, 2016.

Awards

The book won the Blue Peter Book Award 2012, revealed live on British kids channel CBBC on March 1, 2012.[11]

Adaptations

Main article: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (film)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a 2010 American comedy directed by Thor Freudenthal and based on Jeff Kinney's book.[12][13][14] The film was released on March 19, 2010.[15] It was released on DVD, iTunes, and Blu-ray on August 3, 2010.[16] The movie stars Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley, Robert Capron as Rowley Jefferson, Steve Zahn as Frank Heffley (Dad), Rachael Harris as Susan Heffley (Mom), Devon Bostick as Rodrick Heffley, Chloë Grace Moretz as Angie Steadman, and Connor & Owen Fielding as Manny Heffley, Greg's brother.

References

  1. ^ abcd"Diary of A Wimpy Kid details". Amulet Books. 2007-04-13. 
  2. ^The Book is in Stores, April 1, 2007
  3. ^Vorce, Kristin (August 11, 2011). "Abrams Books: Making Publishing an Art". NYU Pub Posts.
  4. ^Thomases, Martha (September 7, 2008). "Interview: Harry N. Abrams’ Charles Kochman". ComicMix.
  5. ^Kinney, Jeff (February 2008). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. Amulet Books. ISBN 0-8109-9313-9. 
  6. ^Kinney, Jeff (January 2009). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series). Amulet Books. 
  7. ^Dixler, Elsa. "The New York Times Best Sellers: Children's Books". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  8. ^Kinney, Jeff (October 2010). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series). Amulet Books. 
  9. ^Kinney, Jeff (November 2011). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series). Amulet Books. 
  10. ^"Latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid Debuts as Global Bestseller". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  11. ^"Blue Peter Book Awards 2012". BookTrust. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  12. ^Breznican, Anthony (September 29, 2009). "First Look: 'Wimpy Kid' actor embraces being 'a likable jerk'". USA Today. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  13. ^McNary, Dave (August 3, 2009). "Steve Zahn to star in 'Wimpy Kid'". Variety. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  14. ^McCarron, Heather (October 12, 2009). "Nothing 'Wimpy' about local author's success". Milford Daily News. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  15. ^"Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  16. ^"Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie main page". 20th Century Fox. Jeff Kinney. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 

External links

Picture of the online version
Author and illustrator Jeff Kinney signs copies of "Diary Of A Wimpy Kid" in 2009.

The Weight of The Last Straw

It was a little passive aggressive. Slightly rude. Unnecessary coming from a woman in her position. It was the type of comment that I have been reading, hearing, cringing at and then ignoring my entire adult life.

Except I’m finished with that, now.

I used to volunteer for a wonderful organization dedicated to a cause I care deeply about. It is full of women who have inspired me and helped me heal. I don’t work there anymore.

The last straw came on an exciting day. Tickets to our national conference were on sale and my little corner of the internet was all abuzz. It made up for the seven micro-aggressions I’d had to deal with so far this week (Yes, I count them). And then came number eight. It came from the CEO of the organization in the form of a passive aggressive comment on a Facebook post.

Why did it hit me like that? Why was THIS the one?

I am used to blatant racism, after all I live in Charleston, SC. I’m used to my family being murdered while at prayer and giving tourists directions using the names of men who enslaved my great-great- grandparents. The huge injustices live next door to the small and they all work on your soul.

And so I have curated my online spaces. About half of my list of ‘friends’ on each social media platform got purged after the election. I no longer agree to disagree with people on my humanity. Two friends and I set up a rule — no more white women for 2017. We are not accepting friend requests online or in real life. We don’t have the energy required to vet people and then wait for the other shoe to drop.

Yet, I have been naive about this particular space from the beginning. I’ve been blindsided there by ‘friends’ who indulge racist grandparents and those who just don’t want to talk about politics anymore. Because we share a particular life experience I have kept my blinders firmly in place and tried to fit my square peg into their round hole.

And so when this happened — this annoying moment, this small and mean power play, I thought about rolling my eyes and ignoring it. I thought about the week this woman had had. I thought about the stress she was under. I thought about this amazing thing she had wrought from an agonizing experience. I thought about her power, and the small role I had as a contractor for them on another project. I thought about the money from that 5 hours a week. It was one dollar more than I paid my babysitter, but if I did the work for them at night after my children were asleep it allowed us to pay for a babysitter so that I could work during the day to create my business. I thought about the women in the group I volunteer to run and how I adore them. I weighed all of that against my self respect.

Speak to her privately, my training in business said. My father has a Master’s Degree in Management, but I didn’t need to call for his advice. Swallow it, she’s the boss. Or speak to her privately. Write out what you are going to say so that it will be precise, measured.

Nevermind that she called me out in a public forum.

I talked it through with my partner. At first his advice echoed my own, and my father’s. And then my back broke and the tears came. It isn’t about her, I said. Or it isn’t only about her. It is about every woman who has done this to me for years. It’s about all the women online who pull shit like this all the time, get called out privately for it, apologize publicly and then look even more amazing, even more honest and caring and real.They end up with book deals and sold out speaking tours.

It’s about the women in Whole Foods who don’t think my daughter is mine because she has blue eyes, it’s about the woman in the pick up line who blocked my way for twenty minutes while she had a conversation with another parent — after looking directly into my eyes. It’s about the fact that I didn’t get out of the car and say anything because he is the only black child at that school and I was NOT going to have my son be the kid of the angry black woman. It’s about the women online who just want to go back to pictures of puppies or kittens and who ‘just aren’t political’. It’s about the ones who cry when you call them out on anything. It’s about the fact that it never occurred to hundreds of thousands of women who marched last month that all pussies aren’t pink. It’s about the fact that I called the token black member of the staff and asked her to raise the issue and STILL nothing happened. One of the few black volunteers called the only black staff member and got no response from an organization trying to reach out to ‘all’ women.

I am constantly asked to consider the full humanity and emotional circumstances of women who are never asked to consider mine. If they do it at all it is magnanimously. I have to do it to survive.

This small thing. The fact that it never occurred to her to simply ask me a question. The fact that she made the comment on a post with my name on it in a group I am the admin of and then denied that she was speaking about me. The fact that even after it was brought up she felt no need to reach out to me. The fact that even as I was hurt and angry I rushed to do her bidding. The fact that I questioned whether or not to say anything at all and then agonized over whether to stand up for myself publicly. The fact that I weighed my self respect at all.

And so I am walking away. From an organization I believe is important. From a group of women I adore. From the chance to submit a proposal to speak at the conference. From possible future endorsements of my business. From the five hours of work a week. From the work. From the access. From the feeling of being important, special, a part of something.

Because when my back broke I found the strength to stand up and say, “Stop”. I will not be spoken to or about like that. I will not. Someone else can spend 20 hours a week curating that community for free and someone else can have the five hours a week of pay. I will give up the babysitter.

I have no illusions that by writing this so publicly I am not bombing bridges to smithereens. But I stopped for a moment and weighed my self respect. The fact that I did so disgusts me.

It was a small comment. It was nothing. How much does a piece of straw weigh?

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