#NotesOn: The “Must” of Moral Lessons and Happy Endings

During my elementary school days, every book our class was assigned or encouraged to read in English was not complete with a list of questions, eagerly waiting for our clumsy, scribbled answers. Even book reports and reviews later on in high school had them: who were the characters? What was the setting? Where can the climax be found?

What is the moral of the story?

The last question was the one we all particularly struggled with. Enjoyment leaves more of an impact than whatever virtue being lectured subtly. Of course, it can be considered as a standard to test how much we, as readers, actually understood and comprehended the story, and how it is one to be remembered as we apply said values of trademark morals such as forgiveness, understanding, humility and compassion – important values to be learned by children, passed on by colorful stories.

As I grew up and the stories I read became more complex, the standard book reviews given to me in high school still ended with the demand of a moral lesson to take away from what I’ve read. Out of the education system, I sometimes think of writing a book review for a blog, and feel helpless at the end of the post.

Sometimes, my problem is that there are too many to generalize or pick from.

Sometimes, my problem is that there is none.

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