The Moon is Down

by

John Steinbeck

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A man who has lived for some time in the town as a well-liked storekeeper, but who has actually been serving as an informant for the invading military. In addition to telling the invaders which people in the town owns guns (along with other information pertinent to conquering the village), Mr. Corell organizes a competition in the woods so that the townspeople will be unprepared on the day the invading military arrives. His betrayal comes as a great shock to everybody, especially Mayor Orden, who in the past has collaborated with Corell on various governmental projects, such as the building of a hospital. When Doctor Winter chastises Corell for collaborating with the invaders, Corell defends himself by saying, “‘I work for what I believe in! That is an honorable thing.’” Of course, this does little to pacify the townspeople’s anger, and Orden refuses to speak with Corell any further. Later, Corell tries to convince Colonel Lanser to appoint him as mayor, but Lanser tells him it would be better for Orden to remain in power, since the people trust him. Lanser also advises Corell to leave the village, since it is no longer a safe place for him to stay given how angry everybody is at him. Nonetheless, Corell decides to stay and even goes over Lanser’s head to obtain permission from the government to play a more significant role in the town’s post-invasion operations. In this way, Corell is portrayed as a power-hungry man with no loyalty or sense of shame.

George Corell Quotes in The Moon is Down

The The Moon is Down quotes below are all either spoken by George Corell or refer to George Corell. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Moon is Down published in 1995.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Then Corell said insinuatingly, “Are you afraid, Colonel? Should the commander of this occupation be afraid?”
Lanser sat down heavily and said, “Maybe that’s it.” And he said disgustedly, “I’m tired of people who have not been at war who know all about it.” He held his chin in his hand and said, “I remember a little old woman in Brussels—sweet face, white hair; she was only four feet eleven; delicate old hands. You could see the veins almost black against her skin. And her black shawl and her blue-white hair. She used to sing our national songs to us in a quivering, sweet voice. She always knew where to find a cigarette or a virgin.” He dropped his hand from his chin, and he caught himself as though he had been asleep. “We didn’t know her son had been executed,” he said. “When we finally shot her, she had killed twelve men with a long, black hatpin. I have it yet at home. It was an enamel button with a bird over it, red and blue.”
Corell said, “But you shot her?”
“Of course we shot her.”
“And the murders stopped?” asked Corell.
“No, the murders did not stop.”

Related Characters: Colonel Lanser (speaker), George Corell (speaker)
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Moon is Down LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Moon is Down PDF

George Corell Character Timeline in The Moon is Down

The timeline below shows where the character George Corell appears in The Moon is Down. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
...policeman and postman, who are out at sea on a rowboat they borrowed from Mr. Corell, a popular storekeeper, watch the enemies fly toward the village. As they make haste toward... (full context)
Appearances and Civility Theme Icon
...with looks of surprise and confusion. Meanwhile, the enemy soldiers take up residence in Mr. Corell’s large warehouse and send word to Mayor Orden, the town’s top official, that their commander,... (full context)
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Appearances and Civility Theme Icon
...local man has been working here for some time.” He then tells Winter that Mr. Corell is an informant for the military, a fact that deeply surprises the doctor because of... (full context)
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Appearances and Civility Theme Icon
...a man in a black suit, who Mayor Orden and Doctor Winter recognize as Mr. Corell. Lanser asks if Winter is an official, and Mayor Orden assures him that although his... (full context)
Empathy and the Effects of Fascism Theme Icon
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Mr. Corell justifies his actions to Mayor Orden, saying, “I work for what I believe in! That... (full context)
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Appearances and Civility Theme Icon
Not long after Corell leaves, Mayor Orden and Colonel Lanser’s conversation is interrupted by the palace’s cook, Annie, who... (full context)
Chapter 2
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Empathy and the Effects of Fascism Theme Icon
Mr. Corell pays the palace a visit to speak to Colonel Lanser, who introduces Corell to the... (full context)
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Empathy and the Effects of Fascism Theme Icon
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Appearances and Civility Theme Icon
Lanser notices Corell has a bandage on his head and asks him if the villagers have already tried... (full context)
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Appearances and Civility Theme Icon
Corell becomes frustrated, saying he deserves a position of power. Lanser goes on, saying, “Mayor Orden... (full context)
Chapter 3
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
...escaped from the town the night before, and that people are talking about killing Mr. Corell. (full context)
Chapter 6
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
...inside, Orden addresses the Anders brothers, saying that he’s heard they’re going to bring Mr. Corell with them. “It isn’t good to see him in the streets,” Will Anders says, explaining... (full context)
Chapter 7
Empathy and the Effects of Fascism Theme Icon
While Lanser and Loft argue about what to do, Mr. Corell arrives. Before Loft leaves, Lanser relents and allows him to investigate the situation further, telling... (full context)
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Upon dismissing Prackle, Colonel Lanser finally welcomes Mr. Corell into the drawing-room. Corell informs Lanser that he has written to the capital because Lanser... (full context)
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
In response to Corell’s strong words, Lanser asks him what he is suggesting. “These suggestions, Colonel, are a little... (full context)