32 pages 1 hour read

John Steinbeck

The Moon Is Down

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1942

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Important Quotes

Quotation Mark Icon

“They hurry toward their destiny as though it would not wait. They push the rolling world along with their shoulders.”

(Chapter 1, Page 3)

Spoken by Doctor Winter to Joseph as they wait to meet Colonel Lanser for the first time, this quote reflects the negative attitude that Winter and his countrymen have about Germany’s aggressive wartime policies. Winter condemns the German military’s desire to conquer the world as quickly as possible and without planning for the secretive, patient resistance displayed by the town’s people later in the novel.

Quotation Mark Icon

“I don’t know. It’s been so long since we conquered anybody or anybody conquered us. I don’t know what is proper.”

(Chapter 1, Page 9)

As Doctor Winter, Mayor Orden, and Orden’s wife await Colonel Lanser’s arrival, Doctor Winter comments on the confusion and unexpectedness of the town’s conquest. He cannot advise Mayor Orden’s wife on how to best behave when the Colonel arrives because the social situation is beyond their expectations.

Quotation Mark Icon

“Lanser had been in Belgium and France twenty years before and he tried not to think what he knew-that war is treachery and hatred, the muddling of incompetent generals, the torture and killing and sickness and tiredness, until at last it is over and nothing has changed except for a new weariness and new hatreds.”

(Chapter 2, Page 23)

Colonel Lanser has experienced war before and is disillusioned to the idealistic portrait of heroic soldiers that the rest of his staff, especially the lieutenants, expect wartime to be. Lanser’s emotions in this quote foreshadow the ways his staff will struggle to understand their relationship with the townspeople the longer their forces hold the town hostage.