Why does the story of Pinnochio change the third person to 1st person? How does the story change with this shift? 2. When Pinocchio is lost in the...

Why does the story of Pinnochio change the third person to 1st person? How does the story change with this shift?


. When Pinocchio is lost in the woods, he is approached by a supposedly lame fox and blind cat. They are told of Pinocchio having coins in his pocket. The fox and cat, knowing of Pinocchio’s coins pretend to be blind and lame. They ask Pinocchio to come with them to an inn, and buy them dinner. When Pinocchio wakes up, he is told by the manager that the fox and cat have gone. Pinocchio goes back into the woods and is attacked by assassins, whom are actually the fox and cat. His naivety nearly costs him his life, as he hangs on the branch of a tree. Later in the story, Pinocchio finds himself with Lamp-wick waiting for the coach to take Lamp-wick to Playland. Pinocchio is convinced by Lampwick that going to Playland would be fun. Pinocchio believes that since he is late, one hour or more makes very little difference. At the end of the story, Pinocchio gives his savings of coins to his fairy, which is sick in the hospital. Pinocchio is given the gist of becoming a real boy because of his act of generosity toward his fairy.

Expert Answers
mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, this is not much of a story to begin with.  It's a summary of a story.  It's telling, not showing.  There are huge jumps in the narration, no dialogue, no dramatic arc. 

If you change the POV to 1st person Pinnochio, then the story will be told by a naive narrator.  He obviously doesn't know the motivations of the fox and cat--that deduction is left up to the reader.  So, the story takes on situational irony--the audience knows more than the protagonist. 

The function, then, of Pinnochio in first-person is to make it a coming-of-age story--he must learn to be gererous after being swindled.  Pinnochio must learn to be human-like before becoming a human.

In my opinion, the story (if told as one completely, not used as an exercise) is better in third person.  Since Pinnochio is a fable it should be styled for a young audience.  Third person allows for more maneuvering with character and plot.  It makes the unbelievable (wooden boy talking to animals) more believable.  First person narration delves into introspection and does not advance plot well, so a young audience might be confused.  Also, naive narrators do not match up well with naive audiences.  Such narrators work better with adults (think Huck Finn here).

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Writing from the first person point of view means you are writing from an "I" perspective, that you are the person observing the events, thinking the thoughts, and feeling the feelings.  So, in the first sentence, assuming you are Pinocchio, you might write something like this:

When I was lost in the woods, a lame fox and a blind cat came up to me.  At least, I thought they were lame and blind. 

Do you see how you need to make "I" statements, the "I" being Pinocchio in this story? Remember that Pinocchio is a puppet turned into a boy, so you are limited in what you can understand of the world. 

What happens when you do this?  Is Pinocchio a reliable narrator?  Can the reader trust what you have to say as Pinocchio?  Does this assignment give you any more insight into Pinocchio as a character?  Which do you think makes a better story for the reader? Those are just a few questions you could think about as you write the second part of this assignment.