Study Guide

The Man in the High Castle Chapter 6

By Philip K. Dick

Chapter 6

  • We're back with Juliana, who is doing some window shopping the next morning. Here's an interesting "Setting" issue: Nazi Germany has amazing rockets, but the new issue of Life magazine is talking about television as this brand new thing—in 1962.
  • When she gets back home, Juliana finds that Joe Cinnadella is still there after spending the night (nudge nudge, wink wink).
  • She wakes him up with a Bob Hope joke about how the Nazis are obsessed with Jews and will even find Jews on Mars. It's the kind of joke where you had to be there. It's also a lot like the joke Frank Frink makes in Chapter 1. (Bob Hope can say these things because he's broadcasting from Canada, which is still free of Nazi control.)
  • Joe and Juliana are still getting to know each other. He shares his past (he fought against the British in North Africa) and his reading habits (he's reading The Grasshopper Lies Heavy).
  • Joe actually starts telling her all about that book's version of history, which interests but angers him (as all good books do, right?). In that book, Italy betrayed Germany, so the US and the UK won; and then the US-UK started a cold war.
  • Joe also notes that the author, Hawthorne Abendsen, lives in the Rocky Mountain States. He lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in a fortified estate called "The High Castle."
  • And that's when the radio notes that the leader of Nazi Germany, Martin Boorman, has passed away. Who will be in charge of the Reich now?
  • Juliana is a little freaked out by Joe, who seems to have some air of menace. Also he defends the Nazis, which is usually a big red flag.
  • Meanwhile, Tagomi thinks about Baynes, who is clearly hiding something, but who seems like a good guy.
  • But after he gets the news of Bormann's death, Tagomi is called to the Japanese embassy to get the info on all the possible replacements for Bormann.
  • There's a big chunk here about all these possible Nazi leaders, but almost all the possibilities seem super-horrible:
  • Hermann Goring, self-indulgent and ruthless;
  • Joseph Goebbels, educated and capable of being charming, just wants power;
  • Reinhard Heydrich, sociopath in charge of secret police;
  • Baldur con Schirach, attractive idealist who extended mercy (sort of) to Slavs by putting them on reservations;
  • and Dr. Seyss-Inquart, repressive colonial administrator.
  • After hearing about these terrible options, Tagomi feels sick and has to leave early.
  • Back at the office, Tagomi contacts another Japanese official to borrow his notes, showing that imperial bureaucrats are just like all of us when they miss class.
  • The guy catches Tagomi up and offers the official opinion: since the Nazis are romantic and keep killing off their intellectuals, it's likely that the worst will take over. And they think the worst are Heydrich, Seyss-Inquart, and Goring. The best Nazis—is that a weird thing to say?—according to the lecture are probably von Schirach and Goebbels.
  • Tagomi sends message of condolence to Hugo Reiss, ranking Reichs ambassadar in San Francisco. ("Sorry your head Nazi died.")
  • And on top of everything, Tagomi gets a call from Baynes who seems nervous about Yatabe, who still hasn't shown up.
  • All of this pressure sends Tagomi to the I Ching, where he gets the unhappy answer "Oppression-Exhaustion."
  • Meanwhile (don't worry, the chapter is almost over), Frank asks the I Ching about the moment and gets the same answer, but also another answer that's slightly more hopeful. (Check "Symbols" if you need a refresher on how the I Ching works.)
  • And we see why it's hopeful: W-M paid the blackmail, so Ed and Frank can go into business. They name their business Edfrank Custom Jewelers (ugh).
  • But Frank is still bothered, and not just because of his silly name that can't be said five times fast. The I Ching says to give a gift to someone, but what should he give and to whom?

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