What is the Moral of Hansel and Gretel

Moral: Do not trust Strangers

Hansel and Gretel is a popular fairy tale of German origins. It was recorded by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. First, let’s see what happens in this story. 

The Story of Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel were the children of a poor woodcutter. One day, the children’s stepmother persuaded her father to take the children and abandon them in the forest. The first time, Hansel leaves a trail of pebbles along the way and finds the way back. Next time, the father takes them deeper into the forest, and Hansel leaves breadcrumbs to find their way back. But when the children try to find their way back home they find that the birds have eaten the crumbs. So the children are lost in the woods.

They wander in the forest and soon discover a house made entirely of gingerbread and sweets. Hungry and tired, the children begin to eat the rooftop of the house when the door opens. An old woman – the owner of the house – kindly invites them inside. Not knowing that this old woman is a witch who built a gingerbread house to lure children into her trap. She imprisons Hansel and makes Gretel her slave. The old witch plans to eat both children.

What is the Moral of Hansel and Gretel

Do not trust Strangers

When the witch makes preparations to bake Hansel, she tells Gretel to start the fire. Gretel lies that she can’t tell if the fire in the oven has started. The witch shoves her aside and leans into the oven to check. Gretel pushes the witch into the oven and shuts the door, then she takes her brother out of the cage and escapes from the gingerbread house carrying lot food and precious jewels. When they reach home, their stepmother has died, and the father happily welcomes them back.

What is the Moral of Hansel and Gretel

This story teaches many lessons to children. But the most important lesson of all is not to trust strangers, even if they treat you well. The witch acts like a very kind old lady. She promises them delicious food and soft beds – this is why Hansel and Gretel go inside her house. It also teaches the lesson that things that look very good may be bad. This is the truth about the gingerbread house. To two starving children, a house made of gingerbread and candies may look like a piece of heaven, but entering the gingerbread house almost cost them their lives.

In addition, Hansel and Gretel escape from danger throughout this story by their own resourcefulness, not by some divine intervention. Many instances of this story illustrate the resourcefulness of the children. Hansel collecting pebbles and leaving a trail to find their way back shows the cleverness of Hansel. When the old witch asks him to put out his finger so she can check whether he is fat enough to cook, Hansel cleverly offers her a bone. This too is an indication of his quick mind. And Gretel has the quick wits to understand the witch’s plan and make a quick decision to use the same plan to kill the witch. So it is the children’s ability to think on their feet that save them.

Image Courtesy:

“Hansel and Gretel by Arthur Rackham.” (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.

Related pages

examples of bryophytesstring theory vs loop quantum gravitya protagonist and an antagonistexample of diction in literaturesynecdoche in literaturemeaning of protagonist and antagonista consonant sounddifference between bod & coddefine angle of reposeexamples of intermolecular and intramolecular forcescolloids vs suspensionsatomic mass and mass number differencedifference between adsorb and absorbenunciation definitiondialogue vs monologuecompound pendulum theorydifference between anabolism and catabolismtypes of consonant soundscold blooded definition animalswhat is the centriolegumpaste vs fondant flowerswhat is the difference between myth and mythologywhat does edt mean time zoneswhat is the difference between ethnicity and nationalitysharks mammals or fishdefine entendresrace culture and ethnicitywhat is the difference between monoecious and dioecioushow to find the least count of screw gaugewhat is the difference between passive and active transportrelation between modulus of elasticity and modulus of rigiditydifference between depression and recessiondash hyphen differencewhy india is called bharatdifference between mosfet and jfetchemical formula for ascorbic acidclassification of tulsithe difference between tortoise and turtledifference between dolphins and porpoiseallomorphs in englishdistinguish between molecular and structural formulasdifference between mixed economy and capitalismwhats the difference between a milkshake and a maltdifference between a geek and a nerdflagella cilia functionwhat is the definition of dicotwhat is volatility chemistrywhat is the difference between induction and charging by conductiondifference between ionic bonds and covalent bondswhat is the difference between adp and atptransmittance equationtypes of pulses foodshark vs dolphin who winsreflector telescope diagramdifference between fate and destinyfolktale definition literaturetest for sulphates in watercasserole or stewwhat is chromatidsdifference between gifted and talentedwhat is the difference between a religion and a cultpiaget assimilation and accommodation examplescytokines chemokinesdifference between brittle and ductile materialsdifference between tempering and annealinglitotesexamplesindicative mood sentence examplesgluconeogenesis processanother word for restraintseffect of assonancewhats a metric toncoyote versus wolfisometric chemistryjaundice in hepatitis