Collodi had not originally intended the work as purely a children's story: in the original version Pinocchio dies, hanged for his innumerable faults, and only in the later versions would the story be converted to the famous ending with the marionette transforming into a child. Many reviewers conclude that Pinocchio, rather than a children's tale, is an allegory of contemporary society, a look at the contrast between respectability and free instinct in a very severe, formal time. Behind the optimistic pedagogical appearance, the romance is a sad irony, and sometimes a satire, on that formal pedagogy and, through this, against the nonsense of these social manners in general. In style the story was new and modern, opening the way to many writers of the following century. Its Italian language is peppered with Florentinisms. Several of the book's concepts have become commonplace, particularly the proverbial long nose for liars.
Pinocchio had an immediate success, but in upper class families it was not initially regarded as suitable for "well-educated" children.
Pinocchio is Italian for "pine eye".
See also Jiminy Cricket