Pinocchio is a classic Disney film. It’s a wonderful work of animation that has been enjoyed by multiple generations since it was released in 1940.
More than an animated movie, the film, and the book as well, have some very valuable lessons. A lot of them are quite clear, such as not lying. Even young children can identify this as Pinocchio’s nose grows with every lie. The moral is clear.
Yet, most of the other themes tend to get overlooked in this film. One of them is the avoidance of pleasure seeking and hedonism.
A Land Without Rules and Work
About halfway through Pinocchio’s adventure, he is lured by the malcontent Lampwick to abandon his school, family, and home for “freedom”. To go to a place where there are no laws and no school. This place is dubbed “Pleasure Island”. In the book it’s the “Land of Toys”.
Not a very clever name, but it gets the point across.
Upon arrival on Pleasure Island, the boys immediately engage in recklessness. They smash windows, drink beer, and smoke cigars (Note the image above of Pinocchio drinking and gambling).
The boys are having a blast. But the fun doesn’t last forever.
Eventually, the boys turn into literal jackasses. In the book this is a result of the “donkey flu”. In the film, it may have been a potion that was in the booze and cigars.
In the film the donkeys are sent to work in the mines as slave labor, and in the book he becomes a prop in a circus where he is routinely beaten and tormented.
That’s what seeking pleasure gets you. If you want to act like a jackass, you’ll become one. In a stupor of hedonism, you’re more vulnerable to be manipulated where ruthless individuals can take advantage of you, let alone your own mind taking advantage of you.
Okay, it’s a bit exaggerated, but the hyperbole is there for didactic purposes. And it really hit home for me.
Stop Being a Puppet!
A lot of guys in this corner of the internet rag on your average male. They mock him for working a 9-5 desk job, having a wife, and a mortgage.
But are they any better?
They think they’re “woke” because they have or want to break free from the “shackles” of society. These men are not free. They’re still adult puppets. These puppet strings are the desire to engage in a life of hedonism.
The ancients looked down upon men who indulged in their base instincts. Great scholars were not philandering, they were studying and engaging in deep thought. This is not to say you can’t have any fun.
However, life should be enjoyed! Travel, drink champagne, and bed beautiful women. Just see to it that your life has a greater meaning than just these things alone. Otherwise, you’ll turn into a jackass.
Click here to get the free version of the Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi on Amazon.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy joining the Masculine Book Club. Its’ a FREE club where guys read great books and discuss them on a private Slack group.
Interested in joining? Just click here to sign-up for the mailing list. From there, you’ll be given access to join.