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The Adventures of Pinocchio

The Adventures of Pinocchio (pɪˈnoʊˌkioʊ, ) (Le avventure di Pinocchio) is a novel for children by Italian author Carlo Collodi.

The first half was originally a serial between 1881 and 1883, and then later completed as a book for children in February 1883. It is about the mischievous adventures of Pinocchio (in Italian), an animated marionette, and his poor father, a woodcarver named Geppetto. It is considered a classic of children's literature and has spawned many derivative works of art, such as Disney's 1940 animated movie of the same name, and commonplace ideas such as a liar's long nose.

History

Once upon a time, there was ... 'A king!' my little readers will say right away. No, children, you are wrong. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood....
The Adventures of Pinocchio is a story about an animated puppet, talking crickets, boys who turn into mules and other fairy tale devices that would be familiar to a reader of Alice in Wonderland or Brothers Grimm; in fact earlier in his career Collodi worked on a translation of Mother Goose. However, Pinocchio's world is not a traditional fairy-tale world, instead containing the hard realities of the need for food, shelter, and the basic measures of daily life. The setting of the story is in fact the very real Tuscan area of Italy. It was a unique literary melding of genres for its time.

The story's Italian language is peppered with Florentine dialect features, such as the protagonist's Florentine name.

Collodi originally had not intended the novel as children's literature; the ending was unhappy and allegorically dealt with serious themes. In the original, serialized version, Pinocchio dies a gruesome death—hanged for his innumerable faults, at the end of Chapter 15. At the request of his editor, Collodi added chapters 16–36, in which the "Blue Fairy" (as the Disney version names her) rescues Pinocchio and eventually transforms him into a real boy, when he acquires a deeper understanding of himself, making the story suitable for children. In the second half of the book, the maternal figure of the Blue Fairy is the dominant character, versus the paternal figure of Geppetto, in the first part.

Children's literature was a new idea in Collodi's time, an innovation in the nineteenth-century. Thus in content and style it was new and modern, opening the way to many writers of the following century. Collodi, who died in 1890, was respected during his lifetime as a talented writer and social commentator, but his fame did not begin to grow until after Pinocchio was translated into English, for the first time in 1892, but, in particular, with the widely-read Everyman's Library edition of 1911. The popularity of the story was bolstered by the powerful philosopher-critic Benedetto Croce who greatly admired the tale.

In the novel, Geppetto names his marionette "Pinocchio" because he says he knew a rich family named the Pinocchis, and so he thinks it will be a lucky name. However, the name "Pinocchio" was not coined by Collodi, nor was it drawn from any known family. The Tuscan word pinocchio means "pine nut" (which in standard Italian is called a pinolo). Pinocchio is from Latin pīnus, "pine" (Italian pino), and the diminutive suffix -uculum (Italian -occhio).

Many authors have also drawn a connection from Italian occhio, "eye" (Latin oculus), making Pinocchio's name translate to "Pine-Eye".

Analysis

Pinocchio, in addition to being a children's tale, is a novel of education, with values expressed through allegory. There are many ways of viewing these allegories. One is that they mirror the values of the middle class of the nineteenth century, in particular, that of Italy, as it became a nation state. For example, not following the schemes of the fox and cat (i.e. the thieving noble class), but, instead, honestly working for money, and obtaining an education, so that one is not treated like an ass (the mule working class). Unsurprisingly, although the book was very popular, in many upper-class families of the time it initially was not a book regarded suitable for "well-educated" children.

It also is an allegory of contemporary society, a look at the contrast between respectability and free instinct in a very severe, formal time. Behind the optimistic, pedagogical appearance, the romance is sadly ironic, and sometimes a satire of that very formal pedagogy and, through this, against the nonsense of these social manners in general.

It contains many covert literary allusions. For example, the basic plot in which Pinocchio, through idle curiosity, is transformed into a donkey and is then restored through the intervention of a benevolent female spirit is taken from Apuleius' The Golden Ass, while his being swallowed by a giant fish may owe something to the story of Jonah.

Plot

Original story (now the first half)

The story begins in Tuscany. A carpenter named Antonio has found a block of pinewood which he plans to carve into a leg for his table. When he begins, however, the log shouts out, "Please be careful!" Frightened by the talking log, Antonio does not know what to do until his neighbor Geppetto, known for disliking children who call him "Polendina," drops by looking for a piece of wood to build a marionette. Seeing a perfect opportunity, Antonio gives the block to Geppetto.

Geppetto is extremely poor and has decided to make a fortune as a puppeteer, so he carves the block into a boy and names him "Pinocchio". As soon as Pinocchio's nose has been carved, it begins to grow with his congenital impudence. Once the puppet has been finished and Geppetto teaches him to walk, Pinocchio runs out the door and away into the town. He is caught by a carabineer (a police officer in those days), but when people say that Geppetto dislikes children, the carabineer assumes that Pinocchio has been treated poorly and imprisons Geppetto.

Left alone, Pinocchio heads back to Geppetto's house to get something to eat. Once he arrives at home, The Talking Cricket who has lived in the house for over a century tells him that boys who do not obey their parents grow up to be donkeys. In retaliation, Pinocchio throws a hammer at the cricket, more accurately than he intended to, and accidentally kills it.

Unable to find food in the house, Pinocchio cries himself to sleep with his feet upon the stove. The next morning he wakes to find that his feet have burnt off. His father, who has been released from jail and has with him three pears for a meal, makes his son a new pair of feet. Since Pinocchio says he is starving, Geppetto gives him the pears and teaches Pinocchio to waste nothing. In gratitude, Pinocchio promises to go to school. Since Geppetto has no money to buy school books, he sells his only coat.

The marionette theater

Pinocchio heads off to school, but on the way he hears music and crowds. Curious, he follows the sounds until he finds himself in a crowd of people, all congregated to see the Great Marionette Theater. Unable to withstand the urge, he sells his school book for tickets to the show.

During the performance, the puppets Harlequin, Punch, and Signora Rosaura (who are on stage) see Pinocchio and stop acting, crying out, "It is our brother Pinocchio!" While the puppets rejoice, however, the audience grows angry, and the theater director, Mangiafuoco, comes out to see what is going on. Upset, he breaks up the excitement and decides to use Pinocchio as firewood to cook his lamb dinner. After Pinocchio pleads to be saved, Mangiafuoco gives in and decides to burn Harlequin. After Pinocchio pleads for Harlequin's salvation, Mangiafuoco gives up. When he learns about Pinocchio's poor father, he gives the marionette five gold pieces for Geppetto.

The Fox and the Cat

As Pinocchio heads home to give the coins to his father, he meets a fox (who pretends to be lame) and a cat (who pretends to be blind) on the side of the road. They tell him that if he plants his coins in the Field of Miracles, outside the city of Catchfools, then they will grow into a tree with a thousand gold coins. Believing them, Pinocchio heads off on a journey to Catchfools with the Cat and Fox. On the way they stop at the Inn of the Red Lobster, where the Fox and Cat gorge themselves on food at Pinocchio's expense. During the night, the innkeeper wakes Pinocchio, saying that the Fox and Cat have left on an emergency, but will meet up with Pinocchio in Catchfools.

As Pinocchio sets off for Catchfools, the ghost of the Talking Cricket appears, telling him to go home and give the coins to his father. Pinocchio ignores him again, however, and sets off for Catchfools. As he passes through a forest, the Fox and Cat, disguised as bandits, jump out and try to rob Pinocchio. The marionette hides the coins in his mouth and runs up a tree, but the bandits kindle a fire underneath it. Pinocchio jumps down and they try to pry his mouth open, but he bites the Cat's hand off and escapes deeper into the forest.

As Pinocchio runs through the forest, he sees a white house ahead. Stopping to knock on the door, he is greeted by a young Fairy with Turquoise Hair. However, as he speaks to her, the bandits catch him and hang him in a tree. After a while the Fox and Cat get tired of waiting for the marionette to suffocate and leave.

Second half

The Fairy with Turquoise Hair sends a falcon and a poodle to rescue Pinocchio, and she calls in three famous doctors to tell her if Pinocchio is dead or not. The first two (an owl and a crow) are uncertain, but the third—the Talking Cricket — knows that Pinocchio is fine and tells the marionette that he has been disobedient and hurt his father.

The Turquoise Fairy asks Pinocchio where the gold coins are. Pinocchio lies, saying he has lost them. As he tells this lie (and more) his nose begins to grow until it is so long he cannot turn around in the room. The Fairy explains to Pinocchio that it is his lies that are making his nose grow long, then calls in a flock of woodpeckers to chisel down his nose.

The city of Catchfools

Pinocchio and the Turquoise Fairy decide to become brother and sister, and the Fairy sends for Geppetto to come live with them in the forest. Pinocchio heads out to meet his father, but on the way he meets the fox and cat again (whom he had not recognized as the bandits, even though he has a hint from the cat's bandaged front paw--which he had bitten earlier; the fox tells him the cat had shown mistaken kindness to a wolf). They remind Pinocchio of the Field of Miracles, and finally he agrees to go with them and plant his gold. After half a day's journey, they reach the city of Catchfools. Everyone in the town has done something exceedingly foolish and now suffers as a result.

When they reach the "Field of Miracles", Pinocchio buries his gold then runs off to wait the twenty minutes it will take for his gold to grow. After twenty minutes he returns, only to find no tree and—even worse—no gold coins. Realizing what has happened, he goes to Catchfools and tells the judge about the fox and cat. The judge (as is the custom in Catchfools) sends Pinocchio to prison for his foolishness. While in prison, however, the emperor of Catchfools declares a celebration, and all prisoners are set free.

As Pinocchio heads back to the forest, he finds an enormous serpent with a smoking tail blocking the way. After some confusion, he asks the serpent to move, but the serpent remains completely still. Concluding that it is dead, Pinocchio begins to step over it, but the serpent suddenly rises up and hisses at the marionette, toppling him over onto his head. Struck by Pinocchio's fright and comical position, the snake laughs so hard he burst an artery and dies.

The farmer

While sneaking into a farmer's yard to take some grapes, Pinocchio is caught in a weasel trap. When the farmer comes out and finds Pinocchio, he ties him up in a doghouse to guard his chicken coop.

That night, a group of weasels come and tell Pinocchio that they had made a deal with former watchdog Melampo to let them raid the chicken coop if he could have a chicken. Pinocchio says he wants two chickens, so the weasels agree and go into the henhouse. Pinocchio then locks the door and barks loudly. The farmer gets the weasels and frees Pinocchio as a reward.

Pinocchio comes to where the cottage was and finds nothing but a gravestone. Believing the Turquoise Fairy died from sorrow, he weeps until a friendly pigeon offers to give him a ride to the seashore, where Geppetto is building a boat to go out and search for Pinocchio. They fly to the seashore and Pinocchio sees Geppetto out in a boat. The puppet leaps into the water and tries to swim to Geppetto, but the waves are too rough and Pinocchio is washed underwater as Geppetto is swallowed by a terrible shark.

A kindly dolphin gives Pinocchio a ride to the nearest island, which is the Island of Busy Bees. Everyone is working and no one will give Pinocchio any food as long as he will not help them. He finally offers to carry a lady's jug home in return for food and water.

The return of the Fairy

When they get to the house, Pinocchio recognizes the lady as the Turquoise Fairy, now miraculously old enough to be his mother. She says she will act as Pinocchio's mother and Pinocchio will begin going to school. She hints that if Pinocchio does well in school he will become a real boy.

Pinocchio starts school next day and after showing his determination becomes a friend to all the schoolboys. A while later a group of boys trick Pinocchio into playing hookey by saying they saw a large whale at the beach. Hoping that it is the whale that swallowed Gepetto, he accompanies them to the beach only to find he has been fooled. He begins fighting with the boys and one boy grabs a schoolbook of Pinocchio's and throws it at him. The marionette ducks and the book hits another boy named Eugene, who is knocked out. The other boys flee while Pinocchio tries to revive Eugene.

Then two policemen come up and accuse Pinocchio of injuring Eugene. Before he can explain, the policemen grab him to take him to jail — but he escapes and is chased into the sea by the police dog. The dog starts to drown and Pinocchio saves him. The dog is grateful and promises to be Pinocchio's friend. Pinocchio happily starts swimming to shore.

Then The Green Fisherman catches Pinocchio in his net and starts to eat the fish, saying Pinocchio must be a very special fish. Taking off the marionette's clothes and covering him with flour, the ogre prepares to eat Pinocchio. The police dog then comes in and rescues Pinocchio from the ogre. On the way home, Pinocchio stops at a man's house and asks about Eugene. The man says Eugene is fine, but that Pinocchio must be a truant. Pinocchio says that he is always truthful and obedient. Again his nose grows longer and Pinocchio immediately tells the truth about himself, causing the nose to shrink back to normal.

Pinocchio gets home in the middle of the night. He knocks on the door and a snail opens the third-story window. Pinocchio pleads to be let in and the snail says he will come down. Since a snail is slow, it takes all night for the snail to come down and let Pinocchio in. By the time the snail comes down Pinocchio has banged his foot against the door and gotten stuck. The snail brings Pinocchio artificial food and the marionette faints. When he wakes, he is on the couch and the Fairy says she will give him another chance.

Pinocchio does excellently in school and passes with high honors. The Fairy promises that Pinocchio will be a real boy next day and says he should invite all his friends to a party. He goes to invite everyone, but he is sidetracked when he meets a boy named Romeo—nicknamed Candlewick because he is so tall and skinny. Candlewick is about to go to a place called the Land of Play, where everyone plays all day and never works. Pinocchio goes along with him and they have a wonderful time in the land of Play—until one morning Pinocchio awakes with donkey ears. A mouse tells him that boys who do nothing but play and never work always grow into donkeys.

As a donkey

Within a short while Pinocchio has become a donkey. He is sold to a circus and is trained to do all kinds of tricks. Then one night in the circus he falls and sprains his leg. The circus owner sells the donkey to a man who wants to skin him and make a drum. The man throws the donkey into the sea to drown him — and brings up a living wooden boy. Pinocchio explains that the fish ate all the donkey skin off of him and he is now a marionette again.

Pinocchio dives back into the water and swims out to sea — when he is swallowed by The Terrible Dogfish. Inside the dogfish Pinocchio meets a tuna who is resigned to the fate and just says they will have to wait to be digested. Pinocchio sees a light from far off and he follows the light. At the other end is Geppetto, who had been living on a ship that was also in the dogfish. Pinocchio and Geppetto and the tuna manage to get out from inside the dogfish and Pinocchio heroically attempts to swim with Geppetto to shore, which turns out to be too far; however, the tuna rescues them and brings them to shore.

Pinocchio and Geppetto try to find a place to stay. They pass two beggars, who are the Fox and the Cat. The Cat is, ironically, really blind now, and the fox is actually lame, tailless (having sold his tail for money) and mangy. They plead for food or money, but Pinocchio will give them nothing. They arrive at a small house, and living there is the Talking Cricket, who says they can stay. Pinocchio gets a job doing work for a farmer, whose donkey is dying. Pinocchio recognizes the donkey as Candlewick. Pinocchio mourns over Candlewick's dead body and the farmer is perplexed as to why. Pinocchio says that Candlewick was his friend and they went to school together, causing Farmer John to be even more confused.

Traditional ending

After long months of working for the farmer and supporting the ailing Geppetto he goes to town with what money he has saved (forty copper pennies to be exact) to buy himself a new suit. He meets the snail, who tells him that the Turquoise Fairy is ill and needs money. Pinocchio instantly gives the snail all the money he has, promising that he will help his mother as much as he is helping his father. That night, he dreams he is visited by the Fairy, who kisses him. When he wakes up, he is a real boy at last. Furthermore, Pinocchio finds that the Fairy left him a new suit and boots, and a bag which Pinocchio thinks is the forty pennies he originally loaned to the Blue Fairy. The boy is shocked to find instead forty freshly minted gold coins. He is also reunited with Geppetto, now healthy and resuming woodcarving. They live happily ever after.

Characters

While there is a wide array of characters in The Adventures of Pinocchio, from coffin-carrying rabbits to a pedantic glowworm, below is a list of characters who play significant parts, along with their Italian names, pronunciations of the given names, and short discriptions of the characters.

  • Pinocchio (in Italian): Pinocchio is a naughty, pine-wood marionette who gains wisdom through a series of misadventures which lead him to becoming a real human as reward for his good deeds.
  • Mister Geppetto ([dʒepˈːɛtːo] in Italian, dʒəˈpɛtoʊ, jə-pĕʹtō in English); Mastro Geppetto): Geppetto is an elderly, impoverished woodcarver and the creator (and thus father) of Pinocchio. He wears a yellow wig that looks like cornmeal mush (or polendina), and subsequently the children of the neighborhood (as well as some of the adults) call him "Polendina", which greatly annoys him. "Geppetto" is a nickname for Giuseppe.
  • Mister Antonio ([anˈtonjo] in Italian, än-tōʹnyō, ɑnˈtoʊnjoʊ in English); Mastro Antonio): Antonio is an elderly carpenter. He finds the log that eventually becomes Pinocchio, planning to make it into a table leg until it cries out "Please be careful!" The children call Antonio "Mastro Cherry" because of his red nose.
  • The Talking Cricket (il Grillo parlante): the Talking Cricket is a cricket whom Pinocchio kills after it tries to give him some advice. The cricket comes back as a ghost to continue advising the marionette.
  • Mangiafuoco ([mandʒaˈfwɔko] in Italian, män'jə-fwōʹkō, ˌmɑndʒəˈfwoʊkoʊ in English); literally "Fire-Eater"): Mangiafuoco is the wealthy director of the Great Marionette Theatre. He has red eyes and a black beard which reaches to the floor, and his mouth is "as wide as an oven [with] teeth like yellow fangs". Despite his appearances, however, Mangiafuoco (which the story says is his given name) is not evil.
  • Harlequin (Arlecchino), Punch (Pulcinella), and Signora Rosaura: Harlequin, Punch, and Signora Rosaura are puppets at the Theatre who embrace Pinocchio as their brother.
  • the Fox and the Cat (Il Gatto e la Volpe): Greedy animals pretending to be lame and blind respectively, the pair lead Pinocchio astray, rob him, and eventually try to hang him.
  • the Innkeeper (l'Oste): an innkeeper who is in league with Fox and Cat, and tricks Pinocchio into an ambush.
  • The Fairy with Turquoise Hair (la Fata dai Capelli turchini): the turquoise fairy is the spirit of the forest who rescues Pinocchio and adopts him first as her brother, then as her son.
  • the Owl (la Civetta) and the Crow (la Carnacchia): two famous doctors who diagnose Pinocchio.
  • the Judge (il Giudice): the gorilla judge of Catchfool.
  • the Serpent (il Serpente): an enormous snake with a smoking tail.
  • the Farmer (il Contadino): a farmer whose chickens are plagued by Beech Marten attacks.
  • The Terrible Dogfish (il terribile Pesce-cane): a mile-long, five-story-high shark
  • Alidoro ([aliˈdoro] in Italian, ä'lē-dôʹrō, ˌɑliˈdɔːroʊ in English): the mastiff of a carabineer.
  • The Green Fisherman (Il Pescatore Verde): a green skinned ogre who catches Pinocchio in his fishing net and attempts to eat him
  • Romeo ([ˈrɔmeo] in Italian, rōʹmā-ō, ˈroʊmeɪoʊ in English)/"Lampwick" or "Candlewick" (Lucignolo): a tall, thin boy (like a wick) who is Pinocchio's best friend and a trouble-maker.
  • the Little Man (l'Omino): the owner of Toy Country.
  • the Manager (il Direttore): the ringmaster of a circus.
  • the Master (il Padrone): a man who wants to make Pinoccho's hide into a drum.
  • the Tuna (il Tonno): a tuna fish as "large as a two-year-old horse" who has been swallowed by the Terrible Shark.
  • Giangio ([ˈdʒandʒo] in English, jänʹjō, ˈdʒɑndʒoʊ in English): the farmer who buys Romeo as a donkey.

Adaptations

The story has been adapted into many forms on stage and screen, some keeping close to the original Collodi narrative while others treat the story more freely. There are at least fourteen English-language films based on the story (see also:The Adventures of Pinocchio (film)), not to mention the Italian, French, Russian, German, Japanese, and many other versions for the big screen and for television, and several musical adaptations.

Derivative works

  • In 1911, Italian author E. Cherubini wrote Pinocchio in Africa about how Pinocchio goes to Africa where he has a series of adventures.
  • Pinocchio in Outer Space (1965), a feature where Pinocchio this time has adventures in outer space, with an alien turtle as a friend.
  • The Erotic Adventures of Pinocchio (1971), which was advertised with the memorable line, "It's not his nose that grows!"
  • Pinocchio in Venice (1991), a novel by Robert Coover, continues the story of Pinocchio, the Blue Fairy, and other characters from Collodi
  • Steven Spielberg's film, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001), based on a Stanley Kubrick project that was cut short by Kubrick's death, recasts the Pinocchio theme; in it an android with emotions longs to become a real boy.
  • Pinocchio 3000 (2003), a Canadian CGI film.
  • Fascinated by Collodi's tale throughout his career, artist Jim Dine has made drawings, photographs, sculpture, and paintings inspired by the boy puppet. In 2006, Steidl Publishing released a version of the Collodi story with illustrations by Dine. In 2007 the New York gallery PaceWildenstein showed an exhibition of primarily sculptural work by Dine—Jim Dine: Pinocchio.

See also

References

Literature

External links

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