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Mariah's avatar

What "moral of the story" infuriates you (see details)?

Asked by Mariah (24656points) August 12th, 2011

Say for instance you’re watching a movie or reading a book, and the “moral” taught at the end is offensive or otherwise unsavory to you. What’s the moral? What’s the movie/book/etc?

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38 Answers

Mariah's avatar

I went to a movie yesterday and saw a preview for a movie called “I Don’t Know How She Does It” starring Sarah Jessica Parker. The preview was all about this overwhelmed mom trying to balance her career with taking care of her kids. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions but damn, I just know that movie’s going to end with Sarah Jessica deciding, oh, I’m missing out on my kids’ lives! My priorities are all wrong and my career is ruining me. A decent senitiment in one way, but in another I feel the moral of the story is “moms just can’t work! They’re all destined to be housewives!” and while I feel there is nothing wrong with choosing to be a stay-at-home mom, I resent the idea that that’s all a mom can do. Puke.

Judi's avatar

It’s not a book, but, like how the TV series 24 says that the ends justify the means regarding torture?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

So I’m reading this right now about this supposedly ‘rogue sociologist’ that went to meet some gang members when he was in graduate school at the University of Chicago and it’s infuriating because it’s comparatively recently published and it’s a best-seller (not that that means anything, Twilight is a best-seller too) and all that but all I can think about that it’s basic point about ‘how those black people aren’t all bad after all and can you believe they let me hang with them and their mom like totally gave me food and I was like so scared but was like so lucky to meet all those crazy crack dealers, wow!’ and how totally glib he is about important issues. I really don’t think his work is whatsoever revolutionary.

nikipedia's avatar

Grease. Moral: you should change your whole persona to make men like you more. Ugh.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@nikipedia Amen. Same for Dirty Dancing, which I love, btw.

Blackberry's avatar

@Mariah I would think that moral may be something different. Maybe that women are strong and unwavering in their battle against something like trying to be a housewife vs. getting out in the workforce and making a name for yourself. There’s more women in college than men, and there’s more women in the workforce than before and it’s only growing. Maybe this movie is a reflection of society changing.

peridot's avatar

That you’re always going to see the “bad guy” get his comeuppance. Lovely fantasy to be sure, but 1) life doesn’t work that way, and 2) the criteria for being a “bad guy” is much more shades-of-grey in real life.

Oh, and “being plucky” doesn’t always save you. Although that, too, is gratifying to witness when it does.

Blackberry's avatar

I wouldn’t say infuriating, but I kind of dislike a lot of morals of mainstream movies that pretty much say all the good people will win and everything work out. It gives people hope, though, I guess.

Mariah's avatar

Thanks for all the answers so far. My blood pressure is rising just thinking of some of these!

@Blackberry Yes, I’m almost certainly passing judgement prematurely, but half the preview was spent depicting how miserable she was trying to juggle everything! If it was supposed to be empowering to women, then the real message it seems to be passing along is, “you can do everything, but it’ll make you miserable!”

@peridot I hate that that’s pretty much the theme of every kids’ movie and book. Yes it’s a great ideal, but man those kids are going to be in for a reality shock one day.

JilltheTooth's avatar

The Wizard of Oz (movie). You’ll be happy if you forget the adventures, the fact that you battled evil and triumphed, the beautiful colors, interesting people and wonderful friendships, and stay on that stupid dirt farm in Kansas. Sheesh. At least she got to keep the dog.

MilkyWay's avatar

I don’t know about current films/books , but honestly, the moral : ”Don’t talk to strangers.” is unsatisfying to me. I mean, how on earth are you supposed to make friends?

Qingu's avatar

The moral at the end of the Narnia series is about the worst thing I’ve ever read.


The four kids who were heroes of the series end up dying in a train accident. Then they go to heaven and meet Aslan, who is of course Jesus, and they’re all so happy they just died. Then they notice their sister isn’t there with them. Why? Because she stopped believing in Aslan and started liking clothes and shopping too much. Their response to the revelation that their sister is not in heaven with them? shrug (basically).

Actually there’s a bunch of really horrible shit in Narnia. Another fun scene is at the end of The Silver Chair. I’m not even sure what the moral is; the scene is just weird as hell if you think about it (SPOILERS)

So the book starts out with the poor kids going to a modern, secular school that C.S. Lewis clearly has it in for. Then they get transported to Narnia, have magic adventures, etc. At the end of the book they go back to this supposedly horrible school… but Aslan comes with them. The magic lion blows up the school wall and gives the kids weapons and they beat up all the kids at their school. It’s a lot like the end of the Neverending Story movie where Bastion rides down his bullies on the back of the luckdragon, at first glance a standard revenge fantasy.

But it’s weird! I mean, Aslan is the Narnian Jesus. So why doesn’t he simply appear as a sandal-and-robe wearing Jesus Christ when he comes to Earth? And why the hell is the Narnian Jesus comissioning his follower-children to go around beating the shit out of people and blowing up school walls, even if it’s semi-illusionary?

C.S. Lewis has issues. Don’t even get me started on the completely messed up moral structure of The Magician’s Nephew.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Qingu : His Cosmic Trilogy got way wacky as well. Started as an interesting new idea in science/speculative fiction and deteriorated about halfway through the the second book… I was stunned and confuzzled when I read it. Too bad, because Out of the Silent Planet had some terrific potential.

Kardamom's avatar

In the movie Pay it Foward which was a pretty new concept when that movie came out, the whole movie seems like it is explaining why paying it foward is the best thing to do, because everything ends up better in the end. Well the kid who started the paying it foward concept in his town ends up getting murdered in the end because of his project. His murder was the direct result of his paying it forward project. He got screwed over and killed because he tried to be nice and help people.

I incidentally love the idea of paying it forward and I think the movie really pissed me off because it showed that you are likely to get hurt or killed or screwed over if you do good deeds.

Mariah's avatar

@Qingu Whuuuuut?? I read some of those books way back when and the f-ed up-ness must have just gone right over my head.

@Kardamom Oh dude, I hated that too. Not only was it an awful message at the end of a movie that should have had a great message, but it was really really unecessarily depressing!

mazingerz88's avatar

@Qingu That’s what happens when a much inferior writer decides to take on the fantasy behemoth the Lord of the Rings and infused his own fantasy with religious concepts which I have a sneaking suspicion he did in order for it to sell? (cynical me)

It’s a parody of a parody that was the Catholic religion. ( ok my head awaits the beheading from modern day Torquemadas. Or are you just gonna forgive me right now? Thank you! Thank you compassionate ones! )

To answer the question, I dislike the moral of the film Babe. I hated that every time I crunch a piece of bacon, my heart breaks for something so freakin lovely and cute! Sob.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Kardamom I heard there’s a sequel in the making. They titled it, Pay It F*#ckin Forward With A Bullet!

redfeather's avatar

Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The bears should’ve eaten Goldilocks for tresspassing and to teach little kids not to fuck around in the woods by themselves.

Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack robbed the Giant over and over and when the Giant was chasing him, Jack chopped down the Beanstalk and killed Mr Giant. But, Jack and his mom lived happily ever after. What?!

Hibernate's avatar

Spoilers indeed :)

linguaphile's avatar

I like the movie, really, but hate the moral that I get from “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” The guy basically gave up his dream of becoming a concert pianist, and stayed a high school teacher. At the end, an auditorium full of former students stand up and clap because all together, they’re his “masterpiece.” He found his “compass” and guided all these kids.

Feel-good and inspiring, yes, but real life doesn’t happen that way. Real life’s more like- guy gives up his dream, becomes a teacher, and 95% of the kids/parents/system craps on him for 25 years, then he gets a ¼ sheet cake in the teacher’s lounge on his last day of work. Cynical of me, yeah, but I see thousands of Mr. Hollands, and never saw an auditorium full of clapping former students.

Aethelflaed's avatar

It’s a Wonderful Life. Basically, you should never be unsatisfied with your actually crappy life, because it could always be worse. How does that ever make anything better? Why is it not ok with Jimmy Stewart and co. to say that yes, things could be worse, but this is still not good enough, and we’re going to strive for something even better?

mazingerz88's avatar

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Disney. C’mon who needs a prince when you have 7 small people with big digging tools…and gold! Have you seen the price of gold lately?!

6rant6's avatar

Jurrasic Park –
Velociraptor: cute, natural, good;
Man: unnatural, weak, evil
okay, maybe “cute” is a bit much, but still…

Supacase's avatar

All of the princess stories where the prince and princess fall in love within 2 seconds of meeting each other and live happily ever after. Especially ones where they have never met, but the prince falls in love with the princess and kisses her back to life. He has no idea if she is going to be kind, generous, compassionate, intelligent, hateful, vain, condescending or dumb as a stump, but it doesn’t matter because he loves her.

Mariah's avatar

@Supacase Nah, all princesses are beautiful and benevolent. Duh.~

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Supacase Or the ones where they fall in love with 5 seconds, but then 2 days later when being together isn’t the easiest thing in the world, they handle it by killing themselves.

Mariah's avatar

Oh I have another, with credit due to Simone because she mentioned it and reminded me. Twilight. The moral of that lovely series is that you need your boyfriend and you can’t possibly live without him, even if he’s creepy and extremely controlling, and it’s totally smart to give up your entire world and everything that’s important to you just to be with your boyfriend, and abortion is horrible and wrong because your little fetus probably looks just like a cute little mini version of your boyfriend and how could you possibly kill that.

Yeeeeeeah. I could on and on about all the things that are terrible about that series.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Mariah And bestiality is okay!

Mariah's avatar

@Michael_Huntington Yeah, and being attracted to an infant is perfectly okay also!~

MilkyWay's avatar

@Mariah Oh jeez! Good point. That attraction to ‘little Bella’ is disgusting. It put me off.

Theremin's avatar

Twilight: one girl’s choice between necrophilia and bestiality, yet nary a porn crew in sight.

Mariah's avatar

@MilkyWay It creeps me out that Edward (mentally 90ish? but physically 17) is attracted to 17 year old Bella, but what I was actually referring to is [Spoiler, if anyone cares] the fact that Jacob falls in love with Bella’s INFANT in the last book. WTF???

Supacase's avatar

Whoa! I’m feeling really good about my decision to not read the Twilight series right now.

MilkyWay's avatar

@Mariah Lol! I know, I forgot Bella’s daughter’s name, so I just said ‘little Bella’... sorry. XD

Mariah's avatar

Oh jeez, I totally misunderstood what you said, sorry!

redfeather's avatar

It’s, Renesmé. Fucking get it right, guys. ;) haha

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