What is the Moral of a Story

What is the Moral of a Story

A moral is the underlying message of a story. It is a lesson that teaches you how to behave in the world. Sometimes the moral of a story may be explicitly stated through a maximum at the end of a story. Otherwise, the readers or listeners of the story may have to determine the moral of the story for themselves.

Generally, stories with morals are usually found in children’s literature, or in inspirational and motivational tales written for adults. In fact, the morals were one of the most important purposes of children’s literature in the past.

Parables and fables are two popular story genres that carry morals. Aesop’s fables, for examples, all contain stories with morals. Most of these stories contain animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature as characters. These characters are given human qualities, and behave just as humans do. The moral lesson is usually explicitly expressed at the end of the story in the form of a maxim.


Given below are the morals of some well-known stories.

The Ant and the Grasshopper – It is best to prepare for the days of necessity

The Crow and the Pitcher – Little by little does the trick/ Necessity is the mother of invention

The Lion and the Mouse – Little friends may prove great friends

The Tortoise and the Hare – Plodding wins the race

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing – Appearances can be deceptive

Cinderella – Having courage and believing in oneself        

Beauty and the Beast – Beauty in the inside very important

Charlotte’s Web – The value of friendship and loyalty

Good Samaritan – Help those in need

Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Respect others property and privacy 

What is the Moral of a Story

“Little friends may prove great friends”

How to Find the Moral of a Story

Moral of the story is the lesson the author wants you to learn from that story. To find this lesson, first, you have to think what happened at the end of the story.

Did the main character succeed? Or did he fail at the end?

If he succeeded, what did he do right? What did he do wrong?

And what did the characters learn from their experience?

For example, let’s look at the story of the ant and the grasshopper. In this story, the grasshopper spends the summer singing and doing no hard work, but the ant works hard and stores food for the winter. When the cold season arrives, the grasshopper is starving, but the ant has all the food he needs. It’s the ant that succeeds, and the grasshopper that fails. But why does this happen? What made the ant succeed? It’s because the ant has the farsightedness to think about the future and prepare for the future that he succeeds in the story. So the moral of this story can be taken as ‘if you work today, you can reap the benefits of it tomorrow’.

It’s also important to know that a story can have more than a moral lesson. In the story of the grasshopper and the ant, for example, there can be different moral lessons such as the value of hard work, and the folly of improvidence.

Image Courtesy:

“The Lion and the Mouse ” (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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