The Heart of a Boy Summary – Edmondo De Amicis

Summary Of The Heart Of A Boy
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Heart, also known as The Heart of a Boy is a children’s novel written by Italian author Edmondo De Amicis in 1886. It is narrated from the perspective of an elementary school-aged Italian boy, detailing his experiences in school and social life.

Summary Of The Heart of a Boy

Enrico has moved from second grade to third grade. It’s the first day of school, and Enrico is very sad because he has to leave his second-grade teacher. He misses his old teacher and is constantly saddened by the memory of her smiling face. However, his sadness starts to diminish when he meets his new teacher. Although the new teacher doesn’t smile often and even seems stern, he gently admonishes the naughty students without ever yelling or getting angry. As a result, it becomes clear that he is a very kind-hearted man, and all the students begin to like him very much.

In Enrico’s new class, there are students of all kinds: rich, poor, kind, rude, shy, outgoing, introverted, social. Enrico observes his classmates and writes about his impressions of them and the events he witnesses in his diary. Nelly is a weak and very frail child. Votin and Franti treat him poorly, but the kind-hearted Garrone takes care of him.

On the first day, the school principal introduces a new student. The new student is from Calabria, a different region in Italy. The principal advises the class not to treat him poorly because he is not from their region, but instead to befriend him. No one in the class treats him badly, and everyone even gives the Calabrian boy small gifts. Enrico feels very happy.

One day, while going to school, Enrico witnesses a boy named Robetti saving a child who had fallen from a horse-drawn tram. In the process, Robetti gets his own leg caught under the tram. Enrico admires Robetti’s bravery and feels very sorry for him.

Enrico’s favorite classmate is Garrone. Garrone is a big boy who started school two years late. He always protects Nelly, who is often ostracized by other children because he is poor, and he prevents anyone from mocking him. Because of this, Enrico feels a mixture of admiration and love for him.

Enrico’s father suggests that he invite a few friends over each month or spend time at their houses. Kind-hearted Enrico enjoys inviting his favorite classmates and friends who he knows are in difficult situations to his home. One day, he invites Stardi, the most generous volunteer in their class, along with a few other friends. Stardi’s father is an alcoholic and a useless man.

He doesn’t find work or work and beats Stardi when he’s drunk. Everyone in the class mocks him because he is beaten by his father. Despite the marks on his face, Stardi claims the incidents are accidents and never speaks a bad word about his father. Stardi works hard, and when he finishes second in the class after Derossi, the teacher praises Stardi to his drunk father, which moves him and he decides to become a decent man.

When Stardi visits Enrico’s house, he admires Enrico’s toy locomotive. His father has never bought him such a nice toy before. Enrico decides to give the toy locomotive to his friend who loves it so much. Stardi is very happy.

One day, while delivering laundry with his mother and sister to a poor woman, Enrico opens the door and sees his classmate inside with the woman. When Enrico becomes interested in this child’s life, he realizes that Crossi doesn’t have a father and, despite all the hardships, tries to study in a dark room, which makes him very sad. He cannot understand how Votini and Franti, who are lazy, mischievous, and self-righteous, can get away with it. Especially Votini, who is treated with undeserved respect and affection and given many opportunities, but he abuses them.

Enrico’s mother gives financial assistance to Crossi and his family, which makes Enrico very happy. Enrico makes predictions about what his friends might become in the future based on their behavior.

Enrico is a kind-hearted child, as he has repeatedly demonstrated. His parents love him very much and write warning letters to him from time to time when they see him behaving poorly. Enrico is taking determined steps towards becoming a child who can be a role model for all children. Towards the end of The Heart of a Boy Enrico disrespects his mother. Saddened by this incident, his mother and father give Enrico advice.

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