Originally starting as a series of newspaper serials in 1881 the stories of a mischievous puppet were very popular and after originally ending on a dark note with Pinocchio being hanged as a warning to children to always listen to their parent, popular demand encouraged Callodi to continue the story in 1882 before finally combining the best parts to create a featured novel titled The Adventures of Pinocchio releasing the following year.
The book is extremely dark for a children’s novel and really takes the whole consequences of our actions to a whole new level.
The character of Pinocchio in the novel is in my opinion a complete scumbag, he is a very unlikable character who doesn’t seem to have a very good nature about him especially in the earlier chapters of the book.
Some examples of the puppets bad choices includes false accusations of abuse resulting in Geppetto getting jail time.
Killing the talking cricket with a mallet
Gepetto sells his only coat to buy Pinocchio an ABC book, Pinocchio sells the book to enter a marionette show.
The consequences of Pinocchio’s actions are often very dark as well, in one chapter Pinocchio is strung up in a tree and left to suffocate to death, other forms of punishments include the character turned into donkey, being burned alive, imprisoned, being eaten and much more.
Unlike in the Disney adaptation we do actually get more insight into the fate of Candlewick, Pinocchios closest friend, in the book after turning into a Donkey, Pinocchio is sold to the circus and Candlewick a farm, later in the book Pinnochio finds him dying from being starved and overworked and yes he actually dies!
Callodi does a really great job of portraying Pinnochios conscience and understanding of right and wrong throughout the story, it begins with the puppet being extremely selfish and not even considering other persons than himself and while it takes a long time before he has proven himself enough to become human.
A great example and a rather frustrating moment is when Pinocchio meets the coachman, he knows not to go to the Island of Toys there isn’t even any room in the carriage but even after thinking it over he rides one the Donkeys, leaving his father again and this time the day before he was to become human!.
With how dark this story actually is, it is surprising that the novel is written in a more simplified text and layout, it is clear that the story is intended to be read by very young children or to be read to them by an adult. I respect the book for not holding back on its morals, I have stood by that with children it is always better to be upfront with things even though they might not listen.
I had a bit of a Pinocchio moment when I was younger, I remember me and a friend were playing in neighbourhood park and a stranger pulled up in his car and offered £2 each to dump bags of innards from animals he had gutted, stupidly we got in the car and did the job, we were lucky to be dropped back at the park. I remember I went home and got a proper telling off, I never got to keep that money and while at the time I resented my mother for it looking back now I’m really lucky to be alive.
what about you guys any “Pinocchio” moments from your past you want to share?
I really enjoyed this book and was genuinely shocked with how dark and scary it could be at times, if I read this as a child I would have been terrified but considering my previously mentioned stupidity perhaps that wouldn’t be a bad thing!.
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