The Moon is Down

Madame (Sarah) Orden Character Analysis

Mayor Orden’s wife. Madame is eternally concerned with making sure her husband is presentable and ready to receive guests. On the day of the town’s invasion, she even busies herself with trimming his ear hair. She also takes pains to prepare the household for Colonel Lanser’s first visit, wondering all the while whether or not she and her husband should follow various customs such as offering the invaders wine upon their arrival. In this way, she reveals herself to be somebody who invests herself in appearances and decorum, but also in doing the right thing. In keeping with this temperament, she often criticizes Joseph (the family’s servant) and Annie (the cook) regarding their behavior.

Madame (Sarah) Orden Quotes in The Moon is Down

The The Moon is Down quotes below are all either spoken by Madame (Sarah) Orden or refer to Madame (Sarah) Orden. 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 1 Quotes

The Mayor looked steadily at her for a moment and his voice was sharp. “Madame, I think with your permission we will not have wine. The people are confused now. They have lived at peace so long that they do not quite believe in war. They will learn and then they will not be confused any more. They elected me not to be confused. Six town boys were murdered this morning. I think we will have no hunt breakfast. The people do not fight wars for sport.”

Related Characters: Mayor Orden (speaker), Colonel Lanser, Madame (Sarah) Orden
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

Orden fingered his gold medallion. He said quietly, “You see, sir, nothing can change it. You will be destroyed and driven out.” His voice was very soft. “The people don’t like to be conquered, sir, and so they will not be. Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat. Herd men, followers of a leader, cannot do that, and so it is always the herd men who win battles and the free men who win wars. You will find that it is so, sir.”
[…] Madame broke in plaintively, “I wish you would tell me what all this nonsense is.”
“It is nonsense, dear.”
“But they can’t arrest the Mayor,” she explained to him.
Orden smiled at her. “No,” he said, “they can’t arrest the Mayor. The Mayor is an idea conceived by free men. It will escape arrest.”

Related Characters: Mayor Orden (speaker), Madame (Sarah) Orden (speaker), Colonel Lanser
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

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Madame (Sarah) Orden Character Timeline in The Moon is Down

The timeline below shows where the character Madame (Sarah) Orden appears in The Moon is Down. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Appearances and Civility Theme Icon
Doctor Winter asks Joseph where Mayor Orden is, and Joseph says the mayor’s wife, Madame Orden, is currently trimming his ear hairs in preparation for Colonel Lanser’s visit. Winter stands... (full context)
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Appearances and Civility Theme Icon
...two guns Mayor Orden owns. When he leaves, Doctor Winter talks to Mayor Orden and Madame Orden about how to appropriately receive Colonel Lanser. Madame asks whether they should serve tea... (full context)
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Appearances and Civility Theme Icon
...Lanser’s conversation is interrupted by the palace’s cook, Annie, who complains to the mayor and his wife that there is a group of soldiers on the back porch and that they keep... (full context)
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Appearances and Civility Theme Icon
...and reports that Annie is growing increasingly agitated about the soldiers on the back porch. Madame tells him to calm her down, and discussion turns back to more immediate matters as... (full context)
Chapter 8
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
...that the people will get along without him as soon as he becomes a hindrance. Madame then emerges from the bedroom and tells Orden he’s forgotten to wear his “chain of... (full context)
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
...will carry out my orders no matter what they are,” he states. At this point, Madame interrupts, saying, “But they can’t arrest the Mayor.” This comment makes Orden smile. “No,” he... (full context)
Democracy and Conquest Theme Icon
Empathy and the Effects of Fascism Theme Icon
Order, Control, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
...time so close the windows break. Orden calls Annie and asks her to stay with Madame, whom he kisses on the forehead before going to the door, where Prackle stands waiting.... (full context)