At the beginning of class there was a film presentation about The Adventures of Pinocchio. The 1996 version of Pinocchio is loosely based on the novel. There are several differences in the film. For instance, there is not a blue fairy in the film and in the film Gepettos has a love interest Leona. The novel is adapted in over two hundred and forty languages worldwide. The moral of the film is that a lie is a lie no matter the size of it and there will be consequences for it. The other moral in the film is if you are brave and truthful and you listen to your conscience, you will find salvation. I think that the moral of the film is the same as in the novel because Pinocchio goes through several trials and tribulations because of his lying.
The class discussion was mainly about Pinocchio’s punishments throughout the novel and how the punishments are brought about through his lying. One of the punishments about Pinocchio turning into the donkey is significant because a donkey represents a dumb animal, and that is symbolic because Pinocchio decided to go to Toyland instead of finishing school. He had several opportunities to change at this point in the novel. After he turns into a donkey he is sold to the circus. His performance in the circus could be interpreted as more humiliating because he is having to perform in front of other people. We also discussed how different the novel would be if it ended with Pinocchio dying on the oak tree. The story would be completely different and it wouldn’t really show kids how it is possible to turn their life around. It wouldn’t teach a lesson about how to get over things in life it would show how a harsh punishment ending his life.
There is also a religious illusion within the story when Pinocchio gets swallowed by the shark. It is very similar to the story in the Bible of Jonah and the Whale. The water is also symbolic of a baptism. This story could be interpreted as religious because of the similar stories as well as the moral of the story about Pinocchio trying to become a good person and showing the consequences of lying. It could also be seen as religious by how Gepetto is always there for Pinocchio and shows unconditional love for him even when he doesn’t deserve it. This could symbolize God’s relationship with humans here on Earth. Pinocchio is rude to him and Gepetto doesn’t ever scold him or get onto him. He kept giving to Pinocchio and he never gave up.
We also discussed several fairytale elements in the story. The blue fairy is a fairytale element that we have seen in other stories that we have read and discussed. The blue fairy really tries to help Pinocchio and acts as his mother. She tries to tell him to go to school and do the right thing and acts as Pinocchio’s conscience when Candlewick talks him into going to Toyland. He thinks back to what the blue fairy would think. Throughout the story Pinocchio has more dialogue compared to other stories we have read. The narration isn’t as obvious as it was in other things we have read.
Pinocchio teaches a very valuable lesson. The novel clearly shows that there are consequences for your actions. It also shows how easy it is to get into peer pressure and to forget what is important. When the schoolboys talk him into going to see the shark in the pond and to skip school he knew that it wasn’t a good idea but he decided to go anyway and trouble found him there. He didn’t to his conscience again when Candlewick talked him into going to Toyland. He contemplated for some time on what he should do but eventually he caved in. I think that these two instances of peer pressure that eventually led him to trouble is a great comparison of what happens to kids when they are growing up. It is so hard to listen to your inner voice tell you what the right thing to do is. I believe that this is one of the many lessons Pinocchio teaches his readers.