What Is “Goldilocks and the Three Bears'” Moral?

The lesson of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is that people can be harmed by their own actions, particularly when they misuse or vandalise another person’s property. The well-known fable also emphasises the value of restraint and respect for others.

Repetition is utilised in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” to drive home to the reader how much havoc Goldilocks causes by breaking into the bears’ house without permission. Goldilocks initially just wants to take a look around, but she soon gives in to temptation.

She tastes two bowls of porridge at the bears’ house before deciding to eat the full third one. She then takes a seat in each of the three chairs before breaking the one she prefers. Similar to how Goldilocks tests all three beds to choose which one she prefers,

The moral lesson that breaking social rules, like trespassing, has repercussions is reinforced by the repeating of three behaviours three times each. It also emphasises the challenges of and need for self control.

The bears find Goldilocks sleeping on one of the beds when they get home, but she doesn’t say sorry for it; instead, she flees the house in a panic. The description of the bears’ rage and grief serves to further emphasise the consequences of Goldilocks’ deeds.

The situation that initially attracted Goldilocks to enter the bears’ home is ultimately what causes her to learn her lesson and resolve to never roam alone in a forest again.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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