Submitted By rdist
i am a The Moon Is Down is a novella by John Steinbeck. The title refers to a phrase spoken by Banquo's son Fleance in Shakespeare's Macbeth. It was published in March of 1942. The story details a military occupation of a small town in Northern Europe by the army of an unnamed nation at war with England and Russia (much like the occupation of Norway by the Germans during World War II). A French language translation of the book was published illegally in Nazi-occupied France by Les Editions de Minuit, a French Resistance publishing house. Furthermore, numerous other editions were also secretly published across all of occupied Europe, including Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Dutch and Italian versions.. It has appeared in at least 92 editions across the world.
Contents [hide] 1 Plot summary 1.1 Townspeople 1.2 The "Invaders" 2 Film, TV or theatrical adaptations 3 External links
In the story, an invading force arrives at a coal mining town in Europe and takes it over. Their goal is simple: to control the coal mine and organize increased production and exportation of coal. The occupiers soon find themselves in conflict with the townspeople as a resistance movement begins. They try to combat the resistance and force the inhabitants into submission, but realize the futility of this, as it becomes clear the war is lost.
The Moon Is Down is a story one can view from both sides. The main characters include both the townspeople and the officers of the occupation force. The conflict starts at the beginning of the occupation as an illusion of a friendly takeover both the invaders and the locals try to maintain, is shattered by the deaths of several people killed because of futile resistance attempts.
At first, things go well. The locals are stunned and confused, and the invaders busily plan and carry out expansion of coal production. Soon enough, a slow, burning anger replaces the people's fear and a ragged resistance movement forms. Random acts of sabotage occur against soldiers and the coal mine. The invaders, under orders from above, impose repressive measures to keep the production going. Their commander follows his order knowing that, in fact, there is little hope of stopping the sabotage for more than a few days at a time. The conquerors say of themselves and their futile efforts to defeat the undefeated motivation of the townspeople, "The flies have conquered the flypaper!" Soon, all semblance of harmony is ended. The occupiers feel isolated and surrounded by hate. Coal production grinds to a halt due mostly to the fact that "Allied" planes have been dropping sticks of dynamite for the people to use to sabotage railroads, food supplies, power sources, and the mine itself. And as several of the invaders are murdered, they begin to realize that their hopes to be accepted as good men bringing a glorious New Order are coming to naught. The townspeople would rather starve and be killed than cooperate with the invaders. The officers and leading citizens are pawns in a fruitless ritual of death modeled on the enmity between Socrates and the accusers who forced him to drink hemlock.
Mayor Orden - the mayor of the townspeople
Doctor Winter - friend of Mayor Orden, beloved town doctor
Joseph - a servant of the Mayor
Annie - the Mayor's cook
Alexander Morden - attacked and killed Captain Bentick with a pickaxe and was sentenced to death.
Molly Morden - The attractive wife of Alexander Morden
Will & Tom Anders - flee town to England in order to escape the invaders and ask for foreign aid (weapons and dynamite)
Madame - the wife of Mayor Orden
George Corell - popular storekeeper, traitor, and spy. Colonel Lanser treats him poorly because he is a traitor.
Colonel Lanser - the head of the local battalion; a WWI veteran.
Captain Bentick - old, Anglophile; loves dogs, Christmas and "pink children." Is killed by Alex Morden in a fit of rage while trying to protect Captain Loft.
Major Hunter - the engineer; has a model railroad at home.
Captain Loft - young, ambitious; he lives and breathes the military.
Lieutenant Prackle - apparently a good artist; had five blonde sisters.
Lieutenant Tonder - a poet described as a "dark romantic," is killed by Molly Morden after flirting with her.
Macbeth-The title of this book is taken from a line in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Be sure to read about the use of this allusion on page ix of the introduction. •Apology of Socrates by Plato-In 399 B.C., the philosopher Socrates was brought before a jury and accused of “refusing to recognize the gods recognized by the state” and of “corrupting youth.”
Quotes from his apology, or defense speech, are used on page 106. He was found guilty, and sentenced to death. Socrates’ final words, spoken to one of his beloved students, are the same ones
Steinbeck uses to end this book. Do some research to help you analyze the significance of this quotation. "the Leader" - referencing Adolf Hitler, though never actually naming him
 Take notes on these characters as you read: Major Hunter- ‘A man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether he is doing right or wrong’” (106).
The people don’t like to be conquered, sir, and so they will not be. Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat” (111).…...