We Have Always Lived in the Castle

The Moon Symbol Analysis

The Moon Symbol Icon

The moon represents Merricat’s ideal life. She often daydreams about flying to the moon on a winged horse to get away from the parts of her life that she doesn’t like, such as her confrontations with the villagers. When Constance is unhappy, Merricat wishes she could fly her to the moon, and when Uncle Julian isn’t well she thinks how healthy he would be on the moon. She imagines building a house there and growing all sorts of plants. When Merricat and Constance shut themselves up in their house and cut off all contact with the outside world, Merricat says that they are finally living on the moon like she’s always wanted. Her attitude shows that the most important part of her vision of the moon is the isolation that it provides.

Furthermore, Merricat’s moon, since it exists entirely in her own head, is a place where her strange worldview can be reality and she can decide how to order her life without fear of interference. The Blackwood house becomes the moon after the fire in this way, too, since Constance is open to seeing the world through Merricat’s eyes and no one else is around to question the way Merricat’s mind shapes her surroundings.

The Moon Quotes in We Have Always Lived in the Castle

The We Have Always Lived in the Castle quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Moon. 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:
Female Power Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of We Have Always Lived in the Castle published in 2016.
Chapter 9 Quotes

“We are on the moon at last,” I told her, and she smiled.

“I thought I dreamed it all,” she said.

“It really happened,” I said.

“Poor Uncle Julian.”

“They came in the night and took him away, and we stayed here on the moon.”

“I’m glad to be here,” she said. “Thank you for bringing me.”

Related Symbols: The Moon
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 10 Quotes

“If you let me go this time, you’ll never see me again. I mean it, Connie.... Take a last look,” he said. “I’m going. One word could make me stay.”

I did not think he was going to go in time. I honestly did not know whether Constance was going to be able to contain herself until he got down the steps and safely into the car.... Charles looked back once more, raised his hand sadly, and got into the car. Then Constance laughed, and I laughed... and we held each other in the dark hall and laughed, with the tears running down our cheeks....

“I am so happy,” Constance said at last, gasping. “Merricat, I am so happy.”

“I told you that you would like it on the moon.”

Related Characters: Mary Katherine “Merricat” Blackwood (speaker), Constance Blackwood (speaker), Charles Blackwood (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Moon
Page Number: 144-45
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Moon Symbol Timeline in We Have Always Lived in the Castle

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Moon appears in We Have Always Lived in the Castle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Isolation Theme Icon
...that he could go on talking for a while. She imagines she lives on the moon. Stella tells Jim to cut it out, and he says he certainly wouldn’t have wanted... (full context)
Isolation Theme Icon
...leave. Outside, she hears Stella, Jim, and Joe laughing. She imagines her house on the moon. Now she just has to pass the town hall, where people make licenses and count... (full context)
Guilt and Punishment Theme Icon
The Relativity of Truth Theme Icon
...tea. As Merricat walks past, she hides inside herself and thinks about living on the moon. Once when she passed the Harris house, the boys’ mother watched them taunting her from... (full context)
Chapter 2
Family and Gender Theme Icon
Guilt and Punishment Theme Icon
...says she really only wants a winged horse, so that they could fly to the moon. Uncle Julian says that the sisters’ parents had a fight on the last night, though... (full context)
Chapter 3
The Relativity of Truth Theme Icon
...Constance emerges, saying that Uncle Julian isn’t well. Merricat wants to take him to the moon. She decides her second word will be “Gloucester” and she suggests that Constance make a... (full context)
Chapter 5
Isolation Theme Icon
The Relativity of Truth Theme Icon
...he’s feeling much better. Merricat says that today she’s going to carry Constance to the moon, where they’ll eat rose petals. She wants to know whether leaves can be planted, and... (full context)
Chapter 6
Female Power Theme Icon
Family and Gender Theme Icon
...remarks on the warm weather, and Merricat tells her how wonderful life is on the moon. Constance wonders when to start making gingerbread for Charles. Merricat thinks about the villagers waiting... (full context)
Family and Gender Theme Icon
The Relativity of Truth Theme Icon
...to Merricat, who runs wild. Merricat begins to say what life is like on the moon, but Constance stops her. She says Uncle Julian should be in a hospital. Then she... (full context)
Chapter 9
Isolation Theme Icon
The Relativity of Truth Theme Icon
...Merricat goes to Constance when Constance awakens, and Merricat tells her they’re finally on the moon. Constance feels like she’s dreamed everything that happened, but she thanks Merricat for bringing her... (full context)
Chapter 10
Isolation Theme Icon
During breakfast one morning, Merricat laughs that they’re on the moon, but it’s not as she imagined. Constance thinks it’s a happy place and says they... (full context)