The Emperorís New Clothes:


The moral of the story




I have thought a lot about this fairy tale and the sense in it. Finally, I have come to the conclusion that thereís not only one moral, but several in it.

The most obvious one is that people should say what they think and should have their own opinion. Itís very important to have your own opinion, because if you donít, you depend on other people. The people in the fairytale all see that the Emperor has got nothing on. But because of their fear to be considered stupid, they donít speak up. Because no one says anything, the two swindlers can earn a lot of money without doing anything. But nevertheless itís important to think about the thoughts that one tells aloud because itís easy to hurt other people. Not every criticism or opinion is worth to be uttered. The difficult thing is to find a balance, to be honest and friendly.

In this fairytale, there is a Ąhappy endingď and the Emperor is the only one who is deceived by the swindlers. But in fact, things can get much worse if one does just what the others do.

There is a second important aspect to look at. The Emperor pretends to be a very important man, but he does nothing but worry about his clothes. Nevertheless his people admire and adore him.

So the moral is that one shouldnít believe in every authority or in everyone who thinks himself to be better than you. The emperor isnít a better man because of his title or money or his fine clothes; heís just a human being as anybody else. The important thing is to let other people think whatever they want and to not lose one ís self-esteem.

In some way this moral is similar to the first one. Both of them want to tell us that it isnít so important what other people think of one or themselves, but what we think of ourselves. If one is happy with oneself, itís much easier to get on with other people.

Then there is the moral I like most:

ďPreserve a bit of a child in your character!Ē

Children are very direct, they tell straight out what they see. They donít shut their mouths because they donít want to hurt someone or because one could think ďbadlyĒ of them. They just tell what they think. Thatís a very important thing to do, to tell what one thinks, at least if itís important.

But there is another aspect about children that is very interesting. Thy can pretend to be someone completely different from who they are but on the other hand they know when someone is pretending to be someone else or if he really is like that.

The little child in the story looks at the Emperor and screams out that he is naked. It doesnít matter for the child if heís the Emperor or not, heís just a naked person. The adult people wouldnít have dared to say anything not only because heís the Emperor, but also because they are afraid of the consequences that these simple words could have.

So H. C. Anderson wants to tell us that we should keep this childlike spontaneity and say, at least from time to time, what we really think or see, and not what we are supposed to.