Daily Archives: March 27, 2015

Earning Boyhood in Pinocchio

“Oh, I’m sick of being a puppet!” cried Pinocchio, giving himself a slap on the head. “It’s time that I became a man!” 
“And you will become one, if you deserve it."
“Really? And what can I do to deserve it?”
“A very easy thing: learn to be a good boy.” (Collodi 115-117)

tumblr_ldqxqyr14Y1qbluruo1_1280Learning to be a good boy proves a trying task for the brash and imprudent, though strangely still lovable, eponymous puppet of Carlo Collodi’s classic fairy tale, Pinocchio. Time and again, the wooden rascal boldly sets out to be worthy of boyhood only to get sidetracked by the glittering promise of easy money (Field of Miracles), endless fun (Playland), and a life devoted “to eat, drink, sleep, and amuse myself, and to lead a vagabond life from morning to night” (Collodi 23). These hollow enchantments fail to satisfy Pinocchio and lead him into various snares of self-imposed slavery (long nose, prison, donkey form) or external conflicts (burning, stabbing, hanging, drowning, eaten) that threaten his very existence. As a result, Pinocchio’s journey to boyhood moves in fits and starts and is nearly derailed at several junctures were it not for a serendipitous turn of events, a chorus of symbolic consciences scattered throughout his path (most notably the talking cricket), and the ever-forgiving and ever-loving Geppetto and blue fairy. Continue reading Earning Boyhood in Pinocchio