[Kindle] ♢ The Moon Is Down ⚆ Bunatime.co

I must admit that my reading this year has been all over the place some philosophical works, some Balzac, some classics, some indie titles, some surrealism so when I reached for this unknown to me Steinbeck, I had no idea whether I was going to like it or not But alas, it is Steinbeck Despite being rather short, this book delivers much food for thought Looking at the GR database, many readers have labeled this book as propaganda apparently, it was written as such Yet, I cannot label it the same way and maintain clean conscience This little book is so muchthan propaganda In fact, it reminds me a little of my all time favorite war story Pins and Needles by Boris Vian Why Well, for starters, neither one is about a war They both use war as a backdrop to a larger drama the drama of human beings and their inability to coexist together in peace They both center on the uselessness of war, on the idiocy of following out of touch leaders, of the blindness of following orders, and of the struggle to reconcile with the inutility of it all Where Vian centered on a single soldier as a part of the machine, Steinbeck centers not on the machine itself, but rather on the players the wheels that make the machine turn He focuses equally on the conquerors and the conquered, and their interactions The details about the location are so minimal that the location itself becomes almost impertinent And isn t that true in a real war, after all Wars are not about places they are about victories and losses And as Steinbeck points out, the conquerors often win battles, but the conquered win wars, because they are not following a leader or an agenda They are in it for themselves Unlike thecontemporary books I read recently, The Moon is Down is written almost entirely as a dialogue between the various parties to the story And here is where Steinbeck shines in the dialogue, which advances the story without being boring, overdone, or cliched We have friends talking, enemies talking, and through their exchanges we not only see the progress of the war itself, but also the progress of the change which is taking place inside the oppressed This is a wonderful story about two men one conquered and one conqueror One elected and one appointed They both know the nonsense of it all, and they both agree on it, yet both have to follow their duty as required by their office An excellent read. ,, ,,, ,, ,,1942, . [Kindle] ⚖ The Moon Is Down ♍ Taken By Surprise, A Small Coastal Town Is Overrun By An Invading Army With Little Resistance The Town Is Important Because It Is A Port That Serves A Large Coal Mine Colonel Lanser, The Head Of The Invading Battalion, Along With His Staff Establishes His HQ In The House Of The Democratically Elected And Popular Mayor OrdenAs The Reality Of Occupation Sinks In And The Weather Turns Bleak, With The Snows Beginning Earlier Than Usual, The Simple, Peaceful People Of The Town Are Angry And Confused Colonel Lanser, A Veteran Of Many Wars, Tries To Operate Under A Veil Of Civility And Law, But In His Heart He Knows That There Are No Peaceful People Amongst Those Whose Freedom Has Been Taken Away By Force The Veil Is Soon Torn Apart When Alexander Morden, An Erstwhile Alderman And A Free Man, Is Ordered To Work In The Mine He Strikes Out At Captain Loft With A Pick Axe, But Captain Bentick Steps Into Its Path And Dies Of It After A Summary Trial, Morden Is Executed By A Firing Squad This Incident Catalyzes The People Of The Town And They Settle Into A Slow, Silent, Waiting Revenge Sections Of The Railroad Linking The Port With The Mine Get Damaged Regularly, The Machinery Breaks Down Often, And The Dynamo Of The Electricity Generators Gets Short Circuited Whenever A Soldier Relaxes His Guard, Drinks Or Goes Out With A Woman, He Is Killed Mayor Orden Stands By His People, And Tries To Explain To Col Lanser That His Goal To Break Man S Spirit Permanently Is ImpossibleThe Cold Weather And The Constant Fear Weighs Heavy On The Occupying Force, Many Of Whom Wish The War To End So That They Can Return Home They Realize The Futility Of The War And That The Flies Have Conquered The Flypaper Some Members Of The Resistance Escape To England And Ask The English For Explosives So That The Townspeople Can Intensify Their Efforts English Planes Parachute Drop Small Packages Containing Dynamite Sticks And Chocolates All Around The Town In A State Of Panic, The Army Takes The Mayor And His Friend Dr Winter, The Town Doctor And Historian, Hostage And Lets It Be Known That Any Action From Resistance Will Lead To Their Execution Mayor Orden Knows That Nothing Can Stop His People And That His Death Is Imminent He Tells His Wife That While He Can Be Killed, The Idea Of Mayor And Freedom And Democracy Is Beyond The Reach Of Any Army Before His Execution, Mayor Orden Reminds Dr Winter Of The Dialogues Of Socrates In The Apology, A Part He Played In The High School Play, And Tells Him To Make Sure That The Debt Is Repaid To The Army, Ie That The Resistance Is Continued Short and bitter sweet, The Moon is Down shows what becomes of docile countryfolk when they are invaded and subjugated.Not sure what to expect from this lesser known work by Steinbeck, my first impression after a few pages was that I was in for a light comedy, a sort of Catch 22 anti war declaration, apparently with silly citizens and gullible army officers acting out a daffy pre Hogan s Heroes farce But then it turned serious and dark, and actually hopeful There are small heroes, tiny victories The struggle is not valiant There are no action packed depictions It is furtive Victory over their oppressors is implied But the main point is that those supposedly conquered should struggle against their oppressors Most will and most will never give up the fight Aspects of The Moon is Down had a deja vu familiarity about them and then one particular scene jarred my memory and sent me back 30 years orto a TV version of All Quiet on the Western Front In it actor Richard Thomas aka John Boy plays a German I think in the early 80s he was trying to get away from his good guy Waltons persona Playing a soldier from an antagonistic army pushing himself on a woman from the conquered country would do it Well anyway, the scene in question is not, to my recollection, from All Quiet, but rather from this book I hope Steinbeck got some credit. . 1942 , , .. By 10 45 it was all over The town was occupied, the defenders defeated, and the war was finished. Not quite In Steinbeck s 1942 story of a small unnamed town invaded by an unnamed enemy, the war was far from finished The book begins with an almost farcical tone the mayor needs to have his ear hairs trimmed before his meeting with the conquering colonel, the ratfink mole who s been informing on the townsfolk seems surprised that he should not continue to live amongst them, and one of the soldiers is bitten by the mayor s feisty cook Because of the ease the invading army had in taking the town, the officers assume that the local citizens will fall into line and accept them as their new rulers The mayor predicts that things will not be that easyThe people are confused now They have lived at peace so long that they do not quite believe in war They will learn and then they will not be confused any Things turn ugly after an incident at the local mine, and the mayor s prediction comes true as the oppressed people begin to exact their revenge Steinbeck presents a unique look at life during wartime, and humankind s desire to be free. The Moon is down, John Ernst SteinbeckThe Moon Is Down, a novel by John Steinbeck fashioned for adaptation for the theatre and for which Steinbeck received the Norwegian King Haakon VII Freedom Cross, was published by Viking Press in March 1942 The story tells of the 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 1968 1341 182 11 5 16 20 1939 1945 1365 162 1377 153 9640004626 9789640004623 1389 1384 161 9644456734 1362 192 1393 205 9786006110172. John Steinbeck published The Moon is Down in 1942 While not directly naming either Norway or Germany, the reader understands that the setting is Norway during the Nazi German occupation, which began in 1940 Written for easy adaptation to the theater, Steinbeck evokes Ibsen with his play like, scene focused action When the novel was published, Nazi German forces occupied much of Europe and North Africa and the Anglo American and Russian allied forces had yet to check Nazi aggression and expansion Steinbeck has created a simple, strident and moving declaration of the indomitable will of a people who refuse to give in to tyranny The character Mayor Orden, a symbol of unassuming yet steadfast resistance and leadership, sums up the theme of the novel when he says Our people are invaded, but I don t think they are conquered.