Study Guide

The Man in the High Castle Power

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In The Man in the High Castle, power is almost always power over people or power in a system… which means power over people. We do occasionally hear about power over the environment, like the German plan for the Mediterranean or the German rockets. But even when we hear about those projects, we hear about the human-power that created it. So, nice autobahns—but it took humans to make it (6.99), some humans being in charge and others doing the labor. But while people may have power over people, a big question remains of whether anyone has power over history.

Questions About Power

  1. Where does most power come from in this book? From politics? From violence? From history? From the ability to communicate and convince?
  2. Does every character have power to affect fate and history? Does any character?
  3. Is power a good thing in this book? Is it used for good reasons or bad reasons more? Or is it just a tool?
  4. How do people react to power? For instance, how does Childan react when the police come to ask him about Frank Frink?

Chew on This

The Man in the High Castle argues that power corrupts, but so does powerlessness. Basically, everyone turns out to be petty and mean.

Morality is less important than power in this book: incredibly evil and weak is better than moderately evil and strong. This is why Wyndam-Matson, who isn't evil, turns out to be the most dangerous antagonist.

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