Gianni Rodari: the theme of poverty


Published on Feb 17, 2020


1/4Gianni Rodari, Nicoletta Costa, The Blue Arrow, Einaudi2/4Gianni Rodari, Nicoletta Costa, The Blue Arrow, Einaudi3/4Gianni Rodari, Nicoletta Costa, The Blue Arrow, Einaudi4/4Gianni Rodari, Nicoletta Costa, The Blue Arrow, Einaudi

Many are the scriptures long and articulated by Gianni Rodari, real novels for children. One of these, made famous by a film adaptation, is The blue arrow, a story of winter, almost christmas, that tells of the adventures of a group of toys on the run from the Befana. Yes yes, you read that right, because the Epiphany in this novel does not show – at least initially – as the lovely old lady and generous dispenser of joy and toys that we are accustomed to imagine, anything but. This Epiphany must bend to the supposed logical and modern in his night ride, the 6 of January, there are only children whose parents have been able to buy a toy.

Francis, the child that the most poor can not, it is intended, therefore, receive nothing, even if his dream would be to be able to play with the shining blue Arrow, a train complete of every accessory, that stands in the window of the shop of the Epiphany.

Opposite to the logic of the world (adult), the revolution happens from the bottom: they are, in fact, the toys themselves are small and intended for small, to break this situation, and destined in a sort of claimed self-determination to a whole series of children of the poor and forgotten.

The narrative is full of twists and turns and unforgettable characters: from the head of the Redskins Silver Pen, to the stationmaster, from the Captain Mezzabarba, to the men of meccano, from the yellow bear slow but from the great heart to Work a rag dog from sniffing superfine.

Rodari describes briefly the character and the tone of each toy so vividly that we become attached after a few pages. Between the snow, the flights on brooms, magic, statues that talk, the puppets that become alive (weds Pinocchios!), robberies and kidnappings, puppets, and that they suffer when they finally drew a heart, train accidents are avoided by a whisker and the canaries, aggressive, able to escape the cats stealthy, the fun is guaranteed (by 7 years).

One of the Arrow Blue and of the society of children's toys is a journey of protest, an escape to the arms of children, represented as a deserving and very unfortunate addition that proved to be a hard life.

Each child is a carrier of small stories of daily heroism that the encounter with the toys celebrates without a shade and, in the end, the sad story of Francis will find a more fulfilling happy, despite the accanimenti of the lot.

The novel has all the charm and magic of the world of toys and the verve of the adventure novel, which adds a theme very dear to the writing for children primonovecentesca and that back in the Course in different ways and at different times, but always with the same hardness and clarity: is the poverty. Described as the seat of authenticity and celebrated, indirectly, as the true humanity and value, the poverty he takes his revenge in the rebellion of children that the reward and redeem.

There is an old woman, found dead assiderata in the cavern of the gate, there is a child who sleeps in a wine cellar, the one that is awake because he has not eaten for the whole day and can't sleep with empty stomach, the ones left at home alone by parents engaged in exhausting work shifts at night.

When faced with the reading de The blue Arrow you should be aware of this, because of Course it's not gilding the pill in the talk about these unfortunate children, rather, the purity and the naturalness with which he speaks almost seem to clash with the magic of the toys that I can tell.

The theme has a modern, today more than never: what do you think?

Rodari also wrote this nursery rhyme on the theme that it seems to me very clear, recently out in a beautiful edition illustrated by Gaia Stella:

Gaia Stella, Children and dolls, Einaudi

My little girl has a doll,

and her doll has it all:

the bed, the wheelchair,

the kitchen furniture,

and the cups, and cutlery, and bowls,

and a closet with clothes

on crutches, in the crowd,

and a car spring

with which

walking down the corridor

when the shoes hurt.

My little girl has a doll,

and her doll has it all,

even other dolls


also their with their bowls,

chiccherine, posatine posy, etc.

And this is a funny story

but only a little, because

there are dolls that have all

and children who have nothing.

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