Character Analysis of The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck Essay

Character Analysis of The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck Essay

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Analysis of The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck

“Apart from Mayor Orden, the characters in “The Moon Is Down” remain
two dimensional”

John Steinbeck’s “The Moon Is Down” is a novel about human
relationships, the relationships between a small town and its
invaders, the relationships between town officials and the
towns-people, and the relationships between the members of the
invading army. Although it is a short novel Steinbeck has made a few
strong and well-defined characters in these 122 pages. While there are
many characters that only have a few pages in which to define
themselves, the major characters seem to be very well thought out, and
most are quite well rounded.

Most of the characters in the novel receive a small paragraph with a
description of who they are, these paragraphs are very detailed and
help to make the character whole. They not only provide a description
of what the character looks like, they give an insight into what the
character is thinking. Even to small characters this adds a feeling of
understanding on the part of the reader. It allows the reader, in some
way, to have a connection to the character, and while the dialogue of
“The Moon Is Down” may be a bit thin, it makes the characters seem
more real.

Mayor Orden is indisputably, not only the main, but also the most
realistic of all the characters in “The Moon Is Down”. He was made to
be Mayor of the town, and nobody would ever dispute his position,
however, the first few pages of the book show Doctor Winter and the
Mayor’s serving-man (Joseph) offhandedly referring to the Mayor as if
he was a little apathetic and vague towards his own appearance.

“ ‘What’s the Mayor doing?’

‘Dressing to receive the Colonel, sir.’


... middle of paper ...

...the towns-people pose, he does know that
they are the one fault in his leaders plan. Steinbeck wrote this
character with a clear insight into the human mind. Colonel Lanser
doesn’t want to be in the town any more than he is wanted there, but a
Colonel in an army must do as their leader instructs.

“The Moon Is Down” may be a short book, but it does have a lot going
for it. Though many people may find the dialogue a let down, the
characters are strong, and full of hidden quirks. Steinbeck didn’t
directly create “three-dimensional” characters, but rather let the
readers do the work for him. The way this novel is written brings
enough life to the story to make every character seem slightly more
real, no matter how small their part to play was.

The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck. First published by William
Heinemann Ltd. 1942.

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