The Moon is Down - Character Summaries
A popular storekeeper who aides the invaders and helps prepare the town for takeover. He longs to build a life in the town, but soon learns that he is considered a traitor by both the invaders and the townspeople.
As mayor of the town, Orden is the leader of his people, but he never forgets that they elected him and that he must act with their well-being in mind. He is brave and good-natured and would rather face death than betray his people.
The polite leader of the invaders, Colonel Lanser wants to occupy the town with as little upheaval as possible. He is thoughtful and respectful and has already been through war. Although he admits that he has “certain memories” of war, indicating that he knows all too well its harsh realities, he must deny the knowledge gained through his individual experience as a soldier, and act according to the “military mind and pattern.”
The town’s physician and self-described local historian, Dr. Winter is the loyal friend to Mayor Orden. He is a contemplative, philosophical man, who calls the invaders “time-minded people.” More than any other character, he understands the invaders and their way of thinking.
He is Mayor Orden’s elderly and serious footman. Although he appears to be a simple man, he understands the complexity of the town dynamics after the invasion. He becomes part of the resistance.
She is Mayor Orden’s feisty, outspoken cook, and the town’s most reliable source for news. She openly objects to the presence of the invaders when they occupy the back porch of the palace. Later on she becomes a leader in the underground resistance movement in the town.
Mayor Orden’s wife is described as small and fierce. She is concerned with being proper, and when the invaders conquer the town, she frets over the appropriateness of serving wine to them.
Once an admirer of English country gentlemen, even described as resembling an Englishman, Captain Bentick is a family man and a lover of children. He is too old to be a captain, but lacks ambition to move up in the military ranks. Upon his entrance in the story, he apologizes for having to confiscate firearms from Mayor Orden’s office.
He is an engineer who sees men as “dependable units” and thinks of them as measurable quantities. More of an “arithmetician rather than a mathematician,” Major Hunter lacks imagination. His character exemplifies the machine-like exactness and standardization of the invaders.
Young and ambitious, Captain Loft is a military man and appears to have memorized the military manuals. He is pretentious and cites the military manuals as if they had supreme authority.
Lieutenants Prackle and Tonder
Both undergraduates, “trained in the politics of the day,” they enthusiastically believe in the ideology of the Leader. They are sentimental and easily moved. In another time, they would have been artists instead of soldiers.
A miner who gets executed for killing one of the invaders, Morden is described as a nice man, respected, but quick tempered. He has served the town as an alderman, an elected town official, as did his father.
She is the wife of Alexander Morden, and a pretty woman who was once a grammar school teacher. She becomes part of the resistance and later murders one of the invaders and escapes the country.
Will and Tom Anders
The two brothers meet at Molly Morden’s home on the night they plan to escape the country. They use George Corell’s boat to escape and plan to take Corell with them because they know that Corell’s presence in the town is bad for the morale of the people.
William Deal and Walter Doggel
Soon after the invasion, Joseph tells Annie that these two men escaped the country by boat, but they never actually appear in the novel.