What is the moral of the story?

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mizzwillie's profile pic

mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

If you remember that moral of the story is like the lesson or principle the author wishes to convey, think about what you learned from  the story.  With each new story about the antics of another boy in the class named  "Charles", the reader finds humor both in the parents' reaction to the naughty boy stories and in the stories themselves.  When at the end, the parents find out that there is no boy named "Charles" in their son's class, and that it is their own son creating the havoc described, they must face the truth that Laurie is the culprit.  Being a parent myself, I believe that Jackson is making us look at childhood as a learning time for parents and child, that mistakes made can be fixed or learned from, that nothing is so great that it cannot be dealt with even if the parents are unaware at first.  I also think that Jackson is making a gentle statement about the difficulty of parenting and raising the child you want him to be, especially if you remain unaware or unquestioning with your child.

Because you are younger than I am, you may find another moral in the story which fits as well as mine.  Look carefully at what principle you learned from this story.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think the first answer certainly is not wrong.  I'm merely going to suggest an alternative.

Because Beowulf is a classic epic - a tale of a hero, with specific super-human heroic qualities battling evil and winning - I'm not sure that there is a moral beyond the most obvious: good wins over evil through the virtues of courage, strength, loyalty, and integrity.

Consider that Beowulf possesses all of these qualities, in almost nauseating quantities.  Consider also that he battles and defeats two monsters ALONE (as if he is the only one who can do so, because he is the only one who possess his heroic qualities).

Finally, in the last battle (the one with the Dragon) although Beowulf is defeated, his most loyal apprentice, Wiglaf, summons up similar qualities found in Beowulf and wins on behalf of his mentor, leader, and friend.  It seems simplistic, but that is the nature of an epic.

sulistiyawati76's profile pic

sulistiyawati76 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

larie is lying, and everybody knows that lying ia a very bad attitude. sooner or later it will be known. whatever it is

probertsandy7351's profile pic

probertsandy7351 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

The moral of the story is that it doesn't always pay to steal because you never know who you are stealing from and what the outcome can be.    Stealing isn't worth it

badrlaw's profile pic

badrlaw | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

In short, the principle at work in Beowulf is the fleeting nature of life here on earth versus the eternal nature of the hereafter.  Consider that in his battle with Grendel, Beowulf fights with neither sword nor armor and is totally successful.  Another theme this fight illustrates is that courage and faith are true paths to victory, while cowardice leads to destruction.  One of the better translations refers to a great wound “opening” in Grendel's arm as he tries to flee.  It is not so much that Beowulf is tearing the arm off, but rather that Beowulf is holding Grendel and his own cowardice leads to the injury that kills him.

Next, consider the fight with Grendel's Mother.  Beowulf takes with him a sword.  His reliance on his own courage and the "pure" strength that nature or God has imbued him with is waning, and he is placing reliance on a material tool.  His battle with the mother does not go nearly so well as the battle with Grendel, and his life is put in mortal danger several times.  Also, when the battle is over, the sword is destroyed.  These factors point toward the unreliable nature of earthly contrivances.

Finally, in his battle with the dragon, Beowulf attacks with sword and armor, and though he is able to slay the dragon, it costs him his life.  Once again, this indicates that hiding behind the material is a path to destruction.

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