John Steinbeck’s “The Moon is Down” Novel

Good Versus Evil

When John Steinbeck’s The Moon is Down was first published in 1942, it received some significant criticism in terms of its themes and the key message that the author communicated to his audience. In his writing, Steinbeck proposed the idea that in the end, evil will be defeated by good merely because it is evil and should not win. While there are no direct mentions of good and evil and principles in the novel, The Moon is Down explores the triumph of democratic values over totalitarianism, thus suggesting that democracy is good and totalitarianism is inherently bad. However, the theme of the novel should not be considered valid only because the Allies happened to win the war. There is a certain degree of propaganda in Steinbeck’s writing as the novel served as a successful vehicle for inspiring Americans during the Second World War to fight against the European oppressor and help the States’ allies to attain victory.

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Weakness of the Theme

However, there is nothing inherently wrong about this narrative, especially since Steinbeck’s intentions were positive. What is important to note is that the core idea of free men prevailing in the novel was not associated with picking sides within the conflict. Even those who acted in the interests of the ‘bad’ side were people with their own problems and fears, and the regime to which they obeyed put them into specific frameworks of ideology. This means that good people can be on either side of the barricade and diminishing an entire group to one trait is dangerous as it can breed unwarranted opposition between populations and lead to wars that should not have occurred in the first place.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'John Steinbeck’s “The Moon is Down” Novel'. 11 September.

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