The servant in Mayor Orden and Madame Orden’s home. Joseph is obsessive and easily overwhelmed, often making matters more complicated than they need to be. He yearns to have an “opinion” about the invasion—wanting to be able to say something interesting and worthwhile about the events to Annie, the cook—but finds himself unable to come up with anything on his own. Instead, he directs his attention to the house’s furniture, trying to put the chairs perfectly in order but finding that somebody always moves them an inch or so. “In a world where Mayor Orden was the leader of men,” Steinbeck writes, “Joseph was the leader of furniture, silver, and dishes.” As such, Joseph often rushes to a chair after somebody has stood up, correcting its position and monitoring the other pieces of furniture. His attention to these matters is indicative of the novella’s overall concern with the matters of order and control—concepts that dominate many of the characters’ inner lives.
Joseph Quotes in The Moon is Down
The The Moon is Down quotes below are all either spoken by Joseph or refer to Joseph. 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: 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 8 Quotes
Winter walked to one of the gilt chairs, and as he was about to sit down he noticed that its tapestry was torn, and he petted the seat with his fingers as though that would mend it. And he sat down gently because it was torn.
Joseph Character Timeline in The Moon is Down
The timeline below shows where the character Joseph appears in The Moon is Down. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.