Class began with a presentation on the history of both the Pinocchio novel and a movie chosen for being a very loose adaptation of the original work, ditching the fairy, giving Gepetto a love interest, and adding an overarching villain to the plot. The presentation talked about the sheer number of adaptations for Pinocchio, and discussed why it has so many adaptations and resonates so well. The presentation ended with a short summary of the events of the novel (Helpful, for the last day of discussion.)
The class discussion mostly focused on the novel as a whole, beginning with a discussion of the punishments Pinocchio undergoes throughout the novel. Discussion mostly centered around whether or not the punishments were intended to be retribution for his actions, or merely general punishments that he needed to make it through to become a real boy.
Discussion time was also devoted to Pinocchio as a religious allegory. Both with the shark being a similar story to Jonah and the Whale, and with the central concept of “If Pinocchio is a good boy, he will be allowed to become a real boy” being similar to the idea of living a good religious life and getting to enter heaven.
The discussion finished with the central message of Pinocchio. About how it clearly demonstrates that all actions have consequences, and teaches kids that being good leads to good things, and being bad leads to
turning into a donkey bad things. It also reinforces what actions “being good” includes. Studying, working, listening to your elders, and other such virtues are extolled.