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Never Giving Up In Steinbeck's The Moon Is Down

1039 words - 4 pages

Never Giving Up in Steinbeck's The Moon is Down


Machine Gun fire blasts over your head while your hiding in your home, the only protection available. A slight whistle begins in the distance but it soon becomes closer and closer, its sound becomes louder and more intense with every inch of ground that it covers. Then as soon as it started the whistle becomes an explosion-killing half of your friends and destroying any-thing in its path. The end is near as your town is conquered and you think there is nobody left to fight. But is there? This is a short description of what the townspeople of a small European town may have heard the day their town was seized by the German army in John Steinbeck's novel The Moon is Down (1942).

Steinbeck's novel begins with a description of how easily the town was occupied by a far superior army that was well planned and was prepared for every possible outcome. The novel continues telling the story about a town that refuses to give up its freedom because it is out numbered and over powered. I believe that the story does not have a main character, but if in fact it does, the two would have to be the German high command Colonel Lanser and the town's Mayor Orden. These two are hard to define as main characters because of their simplicity. Lanser is a German man that has been in the army since the First World War and is only doing his duty as a commanding officer. The mayor is a calm man who only wants the best for the people of his town. The main theme that the novel is based on is simply overcoming adversity and never giving up.

The theme of a novel can change the complete meaning of the story for each individual reader. If one person reads a book and he/she thinks that the book's main theme is about helping people he/she may interpret the novel differently. That someone who believes that the book's main theme is about God and how he sends people to help us when we need them. The two different opinions change the way that the readers understand the story. This means that if an author wants his entire audience to understand the novel the same he must have a strong central theme. Steinbeck states this message he wants to portray to his readers on page 15. Steinbeck writes," Orden stuck to his point. "But there was resistance?" Yes but it was foolish to resist. He then goes on to say," but they resisted." This comes from a conversation between the Mayor of the town and the Colonel Lanser shortly after the German army had occupied the town. The two go on to have a conversation about what is going to happen to the people of the town and why the Germans have taken this particular town. This starts the main problem of the story and is the first adversity that the town must overcome.

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