The topic has been raised on whether stories teach us a lesson or not. There are many points for both views and opinions of the topic. Some say that stories do teach us a valuable lesson in life. Some just say that stories are just for our enjoyment and entertainment. Others say both.
The main argument that stories teach us lessons is that almost every story you read, you can find a moral in it, however well hidden. The authors try to surpass some kind of message or point of view through their story, which they want the reader to pick up. Stories based on true stories or problems in our everyday lives frequently contain some kind of message. An example on one of those stories is Lucky Lips. It is a story by Paul Jennings, one of his hilarious humour stories. It is about a boy who at the age of sixteen had not yet been kissed. He resorted to using Ma Scritchet, a witch and her weird magic. He received a lipstick which would make the nearest female kissed him. He tries to manipulate fate by getting kisses and the result that his plans backfired. Once he was kissed by Fay Billing’s mother and another he was kissed by a sow, but the moral of this entertaining story is that people should not try to control people beyond their will. The boy also learnt not to manipulate people and so did the reader. This is the same as the boy in Lighthouse blues, where the morals were delivered in a fun story.
Morals of Lucky Lips
‘What goes around comes around’
‘Don’t mess with fate’
‘Don’t do anything you have never tried before’
‘Manipulating people has its punishments’
Lighthouse Blues by Paul Jennings is about a boy who travels to an island to become a lighthouse keeper. He hears weird music coming form the lighthouse. He was freaked out by the music, but he fought his fear and managed to stay longer than the other boys who tried. He finally discovered that the things playing the instruments were ghosts that were the ancestors of Stan the lighthouse keeper. The government tries to destroy the lighthouse and put an automatic one in its place, but the ghosts with Stan and the boy manage to scare away the builders and manage to keep the lighthouse safe. The main moral of this story is better hidden than Lucky Lips, but the moral is that you should not do anything until you know how it would affect the other people. This time the builders and the boy learnt the lessons, both learning two totally different things. This story is a story that sounds like a story that would be passed down generations of families, probably if the family have a good connection with lighthouses.
Other morals in this story
‘Some things are not what you think they are’
‘Sinister things are not sinister until you meet them’
All of the famous myths and legends have some sort of strong moral whether is about the gods or god, or whether is about the creation of the world and the things inside it. Most religious stories have very strong lessons. Very old stories that are passed down from the past generations have lessons. Stories passed on by ancestors most likely have lessons. A good example of stories that have lessons that are very significant and famous is the bible. It is full of stories that have lessons that teach us about life. They teach that sins are evil and that being a good person will be rewarded. A very important lesson in the bible is, “Fair is not that everybody gets the same. Fair is everybody gets what they need.” One of the famous stories from the bible is the story when Jesus goes on a voyage with his friends who unluckily run into a fierce storm where the sailors where going to be capsized unless they did something, fast. Jesus changes the weather and the sailors, unlike before; they started believing that Jesus was all powerful, and that he was god’s son. They finally believed his lessons and what he said. This story contains a message:
‘Anything is possible’
‘One is capable of abilities that you may not know’
All societies in all countries and cultures pass down messages in the form of stories to teach their young to not to do certain things, to make them do the right thing, and not to do the wrong thing. Myths, fables, short stories and legends are all great examples of stories that teach us lessons.
The main argument that stories are for entertainment is that many people read in order not to have lessons. They simply enjoy reading and love to send their imagination in a different world, time, place or situation. People buy books simply because they want a good read. Most stories and books that people would look for are the books that can entertain. Authors write books so that entertain the reader. Authors write for a living. What do people like to buy? Books that entertain. To make money that have to write what the reader likes. If they don’t they found themselves without a publisher and without any money.
Famous novels known for their fine writing style and exciting pages are usually for entertainment. Almost every book you come across actually has no moral at all. The amounts of books that have morals are minute to the amount that is purely for entertainment. The most common read genres that are read have no lesson at all, such as fantasy, science fiction, modern action, comics and humour.
For example, the famous Harry Potter series, which most of you would at least know the basic story of, has actually no lesson at all. Most of the people in developed countries have read this world-wide famous book. It is a fantastic fantasy novel that many people enjoy and describe as it as excellent. You find absolutely NO moral in these books, and I can guarantee that the last book won’t have one either. Why is J.K Rowling rich? Because people from around the world buy her books for entertainment and a very good read, not to learn lessons.
There are many other world-wide famous series that are enjoyed in many languages and many countries. They all actually have no message at all, and that they are famous for their ability to entertain and take us from the real world, away from all our troubles, into a different world. Some people say that good and evil is a lesson (Like Mrs Owen), but there is no actual evil in the real world. For example, if there is a war between China and America because of satellite destroying, American people would think that the Chinese would be evil, but the Chinese would think that America would be evil as well. So who is evil? Nobody knows. People also think about god and our sins that are evil, but there is no actual proof that God is actually real, so we cannot prove that our sins are evil, as some random person may have created them.
In conclusion, both sides of the argument are both very convincing, and both hold very strong points for why their opinion is right. The arguments for the positive side are more numerous, with the many examples of books and stories and the point that every story at least has a message created by the author. The points for the negative side are stronger with the wide variety of books and genres that are purely for entertainment only. Therefore it is actually up to the readers to decide by themselves, whether the books they read have a message in it or not.