Effects of War in Steinbeck's "The Moon is Down"

Essay by specialK255High School, 11th gradeA, March 2005

download word file, 7 pages 1.7 1 reviews

Downloaded 34 times

War effects everyone involved. The conquerors and those being

conquered. War is a struggle that is internal and external. Man can be a

dedicated and loyal soldier for only so much at a time. He then longs for

laughter, music, girls, a good meal and more. In The Moon is Down, the

soldiers get the need to return home. They begin to doubt what they are

doing and if they are being told the truth. They become uneasy when the

enemy doesn't talk to them. The townspeople's hatred is growing. They

remained indoors and stared from behind curtains while the patrol walked

through the town.

Lieutenant Tonder was a romantic naive poet who felt the enemy should

love him. Steinbeck presented Tonder as "a bitter poet who dreamed of

perfect, ideal love of elevated young men for poor girls" (25).

When Lieutenant Tonder first arrived in town he thought that it was a

nice country with nice people.

Tonder says, "There are some beautiful

farms here. If four or five of them were thrown together, it would be a

nice place to settle, I think" (34). The war was not ending as quickly as

Tonder expected. The townspeople had become the silent enemies of the

soldiers or the townspeople became silent waiting for revenge. "Now it was

the conqueror was surrounded, the men of the battalion alone among silent

enemies, and no man might relax his guard for even a moment" (65). The

soldiers now have only each other to talk to and Tonder longed to go home.

"The men of the battalion came to detest the place they had conquered,...

and gradually a little fear began to grow in the conquerors, a fear that it

would never be over" (65-66). In war, as time goes on fear begins...