This article is about the use of the moral in children's literature. For other uses of the word "moral", see morality.
A moral is a one sentence remark made at the end of many children's stories that expresses the intended meaning, or the moral message, of the tale. For example, at the end of Aesop's fable about the tortoise and the hare, in which the plodding and determined tortoise wins a race against the much-faster yet debilitatingly arrogant hare, the moral is "slow and steady wins the race." Morals have long been included in children's literature, perhaps because many of the stories written for children have been written for the purpose of teaching and guiding children, as opposed to entertaining them. Many morals are even introduced with the phrase, "The moral of the story is..." to emphasize to the reader what the point of the episode was. Morals have grown increasingly out of fashion in modern storytelling, and are now usually only included for ironic purposes.
Last updated: 08-25-2005 08:05:38