Study Guide

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

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Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Anticipation Stage and Call

When Mannie heads to the Sons of Revolution rally, we are entering the Anticipation Stage of the story. Here, our soon-to-be hero learns about the destructive powers of the monster, a.k.a. the Lunar Authority. Unlike a classic monster, who goes traipsing through the countryside knocking down cottages and devouring young maidens, this monster destroys through monopolistic economic policy and market price fixing. Oh, the horror. We get a further glimpse of the Lunar Authority's menace when the Warden's bodyguards bust in to arrest the revolutionaries.

Mannie then receives the call to action. Mike informs him that the resources of Luna will deplete under the Authority's laws in seven years, leading to cannibalism in nine. Believing cannibalism to be less ideal than not cannibalism, Mannie joins the revolution and begins planning the Authority's defeat.

Dream Stage

During the dream stage, the hero prepares and then heads for battle. This stage in the novel takes place when Mannie, Wyoh, Prof, and most of all Mike, prepare Luna for revolution. Using Mike's intelligence and connection to every bit of Luna technology, the group creates revolutionary cells and launders money. Mike crafts a figurehead named Adam Selene, and Mannie saves the life of Stuart LeJoie, netting the Loonies an important earthside contact.

When the Peace Dragoons rape and kill Marie Lyons, the preparations come to fruition, and the revolutionaries revolt, killing the Warden and Security Chief, and taking the moon for themselves.

Frustration Stage

But the Warden and Security Chief were only two heads of the Authority's Hydra. Mannie and Prof head to Earth to deal with the monster of the Federated Nations face-to-face, where they do battle in the fiercest of all arenas: the committee hearing. But the Luna Free State has no legal right to exist under the laws of the Federated Nations, and so Mannie and Prof can't reason with it. They escape back to Luna. Mannie feels they have failed, but Prof confesses failure was all part of his plan.

Nightmare Stage

The final battle begins, and the situation looks bleak for the outnumbered and outgunned Luna Free State. Prof and Mike rig elects to form a Luna government while the Federated Nations sends troops to reclaim Luna. After a vicious battle, Mike begins bombarding Earth with moon rocks launched from a secret catapult. The Federated Nations send ships loaded with H-bombs to destroy Luna.

The Thrilling Escape from Death, and Death of the Monster

Working together, Mike and Mannie use retrofitted laser mining equipment to bring down some of the Federated Nations ships, but the ships manage to destroy the main catapult. Using the secret catapult, Mannie continues the bombardment of Earth while hoping the enemy ships don't find and destroy it.

Just before Mannie runs out of catapult ammunition, the Federated Nations recognize the legality of the Luna Free State. Yay. The monster may not be killed, like a classic overcoming the monster story, but it has been banished from Luna, and the citizens of the Moon have been liberated.

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