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"The Moon Is Down"by John Steinbeck

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Introduction

Francesca Bleeker Approaches To Literature Essay (Session One) "The Moon Is Down" by John Steinbeck "Apart from Mayor Orden, the characters in "The Moon Is Down" remain two dimensional" Due Date: 4th March 2005 Word Count: 950 including quotes and bibliography 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. ...read more.

Middle

The Mayor's understanding of all that will happen shows him as a highly educated and intelligent man, and greatly adds to his personality as a character. There are some characters in the story that Steinbeck seems to have attempted to give a realistic personality. While these characters have little time to define who they are, the way they are written into the text makes them seem more real. In "The Moon Is Down" it is not the way the characters are, but the plot itself that makes the book more developed. Characters like Molly Morden and Lieutenant Tonder are like this. Molly Morden is brought into the book as a grief stricken soon-to-be widow, her husband being tried and executed for the murder of a soldier in the invading army. Steinbeck uses other characters in the novel to supply the reader with background on Molly. Some small comments in conversation help to define Molly's personality: "She used to teach grammar school. Yes, I remember. She's so pretty, she hated to get glasses when she needed them...She's good strong stock. ...read more.

Conclusion

He has been sent on a mission to collect coal for his leaders' use, but through all the orders he can see the flaw in the leaders plan. Colonel Lanser would not admit it to his men, but his character believes in the strength of the people almost as much as the Mayor does, and while he always seems to shrug aside the threat 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. Biliography The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck. First published by William Heinemann Ltd. 1942 ...read more.

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