Story Analysis of ‘The Falling Girl’ by Dino Buzzati


I bring you a ‘Read of the Day,’ a short story in English with moral, so that we can indulge in the joy of reading. You can visit my site to check a short story for analysis and take part in the discussion in the comments.

Read of the Day 

Today, we will read The Falling Girl by Dino Buzzati.  

You can read the story here: Dino Buzzati Short Stories pdf

Dino Buzzati Biography

Dino Buzzati
Dino Buzzati

Dino Buzzati was an Italian journalist, novelist, short story writer, poet, and painter. He became famous for his Italian novel, The Tartar Steppe, which featured in Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century list. Buzzati has written numerous radio and theatre plays, operas, novels, short stories, and poems. 

The Falling Girl Analysis

From the bizarre conceptualization, vivid imagery, to lucid poetic prose, The Falling Girl is a fine work of art. 

Dino Buzzati wrote the Italian fable, The Falling Girl and Lawrence Venuti translated it in English. Marta, the nineteen-year-old protagonist, is on top of the world literally as she views the city from the topmost floor of a skyscraper. And then, falls, of course! 

When Marta falls, things are pleasant in line with her expectation for a better life. The rich who who stay on the top floors of skyscrapers and have lavish parties and silly conversations notice her. conversations. 

The sun comes to her rescue, illuminating the cheap dress that made her look chic. You see flashes of Buzzati’s humour in this story that start shaping into a social satire. 

Even though the filthy rich young men woo Marta (and may or may not be sincere in their advances), she has to fall towards her final destination. Marta feels wonderful that the rich watch her, enquire about her destination, and even invite her to their party. 

The irony is that the rich know where Marta is headed towards and are no stranger to falling girls like her. In fact, they pay astronomical amounts for the distraction of the magnificent fall of young girls like Marta. Marta knows her current place in society as well and toes the line in her interactions with the wealthy and powerful. 

“At that hour the terraces and balconies of the top floors were filled with rich and elegant people who were having cocktails and making silly conversation. They were scattered in crowds, and their talk muffled the music. Marta passed before them and several people looked out to watch her.

Flights of that kind (mostly by girls, in fact) were not rare in the skyscraper and they constituted an interesting diversion for the tenants; this was also the reason why the price of those apartments was very high.

The sun had not yet completely set and it did its best to illuminate Marta’s simple clothing. She wore a modest, inexpensive spring dress bought off the rack. Yet the lyrical light of the sunset exalted it somewhat, making it chic.”

The Falling Girl by Dino Buzzati

From social satire, Buzzati steers the story on an unexpected path with the employment of magical realism. Things get more exciting as Buzzati defies all forces of gravity and logic. 

As the sun sets, Marta slowly realizes that there is a vast gap between her destination and status. She is now anxious if she will reach her final destination in time. The fall is brutally slow, and Marta transitions to the lower floors of the overtired working class who look on at her fall with envy.  

As Marta falls further down, she’s surprised to see more falling girls like her. Better looking and better dressed to fit in with the mighty rich class at the entrance door on the ground floor. Her hopes plummet, and the story ends on a cold, disturbing note. 

“Glancing upwards she saw the pinnacle of the skyscraper in all its cruel power.”

The Falling Girl By Dino Buzzati

Did Martha land at her destination? Or did she keep falling? 

You have to read the story to get to the answer in the powerful climax. The Falling Girl is left open to diverse interpretations by its readers. The story could be about a girl who fell accidentally or purposefully towards her end goal. It could be a story about an outsider, misfit, or outcast who’s desperate edge to gain entry and acceptance from the elite. Some may even find it a short story without ending.

Whatever be our interpretation, we’d agree that Marta hopes to attain eternal salvation through her sudden fall. Also, Marta was in a happier place at the start of the story despite her challenges. Towards the end, she realizes her folly and the eventual cruel outcome of the mighty fall. 

“So self-assured when she began the leap, Marta now felt a tremor growing inside her; perhaps it was just the cold; but it may have been fear too, the fear of having made an error without remedy.”

The Falling Girl By Dino Buzzati

What Buzzati does in The Fallen Girl is extraordinary, and how he makes an impactful social commentary via the course of Marta’s life. There’s a lot of learning and wisdom this story offers to us, readers–on mindless pursuits of superficial dreams. For writers who read Dino Buzzati short stories, the story is an institution by itself on the techniques of good writing. 

Highly recommend this light, whacky, and lingering tale!

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Tina Sequeira
Tina Sequeira is a marketer and moonlighting writer. She is passionate about tech, creativity, and social justice—dabbling in and writing about the same.


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