May 9, 2009
AP Reading Book 4
In John Steinbeck’s story, “The Moon is Down,” he notes the perspectives of both the towns’ people, whose town has been occupied by Nazi soldiers. Each point of view was crucial to the development of the story. My first impression of the towns people were that they were week in the beginning of the story, but because of the situation they were in, they came together and fought for their land and rights. I was very impressed of their overall strength to survive. On the other hand the Nazi soldiers whom took over this small town were struggling to survive themselves. The town’s people were fighting back and their spirits were dwindling. I enjoyed observing how some of the soldiers went mad and began questioning the war. I almost felt pity for them, but in the end they were truly the ones in the wrong.
The character I really connected with on an emotional level was Mayor, Orden. He was someone the town’s people looked up to. When the soldiers first occupied his town they kept him in command and as a leader figure for the town. Orden remained strong and took care of his people even when they were questioning whose side he was on. In the end he remained true to his town and himself. I never have been in a situation where I was at war with someone, but I have been in friendships with two people who couldn’t stand each other. I was once in a situation where two of my friends were complete opposites and couldn’t stand each other. I couldn’t just choose a side, so I remained friends with both of them. This friendship that I held with these two girls, could easily compare to the war situation. One of my friends represents the town’s people and the other represents the soldiers. And I like Mayor Orden was the middleman, stuck between wars that would never seem to end. In the end, like Mayor Orden, I was forced to make a decision. My friend that represents the town’s people was a really nice person and I enjoyed spending time with her, and the other friend was sometimes rude and talked behind my back, but she was always there for me and I for her. One time they were so angry at each other, the friend whom represents the soldiers told me, “You have to choose between the two of us!” When I heard her say that I knew right then that I would support the person who was there fore me and kind, I chose the towns people, just like Mayor Orden did.
The overall theme of the story is, one should support and fight for something he or she believes in. The town’s people fought for their lives, land, and rights against the Nazi soldiers. Sometimes teenagers fight for their rights too. I don’t know how many times I have walked into a place with older people and they automatically assume that I am a troublemaker. One time when I walked into a store to buy some food this older woman dropped her bag, out of the kindness of my heart, I offered my assistance. Her response was appalling. She stated that I would only make it worse. Following this statement I asked her why she would say that and she simply mentioned, “You’re an immature teenager who might run off with my groceries, who knows you could be a hoodlum.” Her words stung, but made me think. As teenagers, we seem to struggle to find our rightful place in the world, amongst those who refuse to give us a chance, or they believe that all teenagers are rude and obnoxious. I strongly believe that I am a nice human being, whom deserves the right to be treated fairly. So I told that older lady, “I am sorry for your assumption, but I am not like that.” I then picked up her food and put it into her cart and walked away. I stood up for what I believed in and in the end the lady apologized.
Sometimes I let things go when they bother me. I don’t want to deal with the agony and arguments that may follow, but after reading The Moon is Down, I realized that if I fought for what I believed in and my freedom, I could handle anything and any situation. This book has taught me that if someone truly finds something they believe in, they can fight to protect it and cherish it. The town’s people within the story loved their homeland and wanted their freedom back from the nazi soldiers. Some escaped and requested bombs and grenades be given to them by the allied forces. They used these weapons to fight back. With the spirits of the Nazi soldiers dwindling, the towns people were able to fight for their land and for what they believed in, freedom. This opened my eyes to the possibility that I too can be strong and fight for what I believe in. This book was an enjoyable read.
The passage I chose is the beginning of chapter seven. The opening of the passage uses descriptive imagery to emphasize its mood. “In the dark, clear night a white, half-withered moon brought little light” (87). This opening sentence foreshadows the tragic darkness that befalls the town and how the Nazi’s fighting spirits are dull and confused. This sentence starts off the overall tone and mood of the story, dark and mysterious.
In the first paragraph personification is applied to the elements to emphasize the tone and mood of the passage. “The wind was dry and singing over the snow…”(87). Through the emphasis of the wind being able to sing the reader could observe that the wind could possibly symbolize the dieing spirits of the Nazi soldiers. At this point in the story they are unsure if they should remain fighting or leave the town.
The next paragraph transitions from the elements to the sky above the town. In this paragraph there is emphasis on how the sky is clean and easy for the allies to bomb the town and the Cole mine. In addition the last paragraph mentions a dog howling because he is hungry and miserable. The dog symbolizes the hunger within the people of the town and their want to fight back, yet at the same time the dog alludes to the poor spirits of the Nazi soldiers.
This story was written before World War Two by John Steinbeck. This book was meant to give motivation to the allies and the resistance. Surprisingly this book isn’t well known in the United States, but mostly in Germany and China. Usually Steinbeck likes to emphasize the human turmoil and end his stories in a dramatic way that leaves the reader feeling depressed, but he didn’t do that in this book. The ending is ambiguous. Steinbeck alludes that the Mayor shall be killed, but in the end the Mayor has the final word, he fully supports his towns people and their resistance towards the soldiers. I liked the poetic justice. Overall, the style and content was perfect and enjoyable to read and observe. I would recommend this story to anyone who is interested in war stories and the human experiences that took place during these extraordinary times.