Study Guide

Minor Characters in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

By Robert Heinlein

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Minor Characters

Stuart Rene LaJoie-Davis a.k.a. Stu

When we first meet Stu, he is a tourist enjoying all the sights the Moon has to offer, but after a day of looking at craters and rocks, he takes a break at the local taproom… and invites a bit of trouble upon himself. Not knowing Luna's customs, he puts his arm around a woman's waist and attempts to kiss her. Whoops.

A stilyagi group, led by Slim Lemke, considers throwing Stu out an airlock, but Mannie stands judge at the trial and only fines Stu fifty Hong Kong dollars for not learning local customs (11.88). The verdict turns out to be beneficial for both parties—Stu gets to not die, which is pretty much always good news, while Mannie, on the other hand, receives a much needed Terran contact to make his revolution successful.

Stu, it turns out, is a well-connected, highly influential Terran, the "[s]ort of earthworm who wouldn't speak to a Loonie of convict ancestry—except Stu would speak to anyone" (11.147). After falling in love with the Luna way of life, he arranges Mannie and Prof's trip to Earth and their subsequent escape. He later becomes a full-fledged member of the Luna Free State, a member of its Congress, and even a husband in the Davis family.

Hazel Meade

Hazel helped Wyoh and Mannie escape the rally in the novel's beginning and later joins the Baker Street Irregulars, a group of children who work as couriers and lookouts for the revolutionaries, and generally annoy Lunar Authority. She later signs the Luna Declaration of Independence and becomes a member of the Davis family.

Although she is a minor character in this novel, Hazel is a major player in other Heinlein novels, notably The Rolling Stones and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. In the latter, she goes on a mission to find the whereabouts of the missing Mike, making her adventures in that novel a kind of sort of sequel to Harsh Mistress. Not sure what we're talking about? Click on over to Mike's page elsewhere in this section.

The Davis Family

With more than thirty members (including children), the Davis family has one family tree we wouldn't want to have to map out. Although it's never directly brought up in the novel, we imagine the holidays must bring new meaning to the words chaos and ruckus. Right? There's just no way that many people share a meal without arguing. But we digress.

The Davis family exists through what is called a line marriage, a type of marriage where husbands and wives are opted in from generation to generation. As such, there are senior wives and husbands as well as junior ones, each tier dependent upon how long they have been in the family. Excluding Mannie and Wyoh, the Davis husbands and wives are:

  • Grandpaw Davis is the senior husband and head of the Davis house. Despite being the lead honcho, his family-man duties generally fall to Greg and Mum due to his growing senility.
  • Mimi "Mum" Davis is the senior wife of the Davis family. She cares and supports all of her family, but seems to have a soft spot in her heart for her wittle schnookums Mannie.
  • Greg Davis is the second senior husband of the family, and a preacher of a Christian denomination. He joins the revolution and works at the hidden catapult.
  • Sidris Davis is another wife in the family. She owns a saloon and uses it to coordinate efforts for the rebellion, gather information, and spread the revolution's agitprop.
  • Ludmilla Davis is a fourteen-year-old junior wife of the Davis family, and the only member of the family to die during the revolution. She meets her end during the Federated Nation's invasion of Luna City.
  • Hans Davis is a husband, and the best farmer of the bunch.

Lenore and Anna are also Davis family wives, while Frank and Ali round out the numbers as husbands. As for the children, well, Mannie doesn't really mention them much, so best we just leave it at the husbands and wives, shall we?

We discuss the reason for novel's inclusion of the line marriage in our "Symbols" section, so click over that way if you want to explore its significance.

Luna Revolutionists

Although Wyoh, Mannie, and Prof make up the revolution's triumvirate, there are several other revolutionaries that help them in creating the Luna Free State. It would be an awful short battle scene otherwise. Here are a couple of the key revolutionaries and the roles they play:

  • Finn Nielsen rallies a militia that plays a key role during the revolt against Mort and Alvarez. Later, he continues on as the commander of the Luna Armed Forces.
  • Judge Brody makes his living as a judge for hire and later joins the revolution. Afterward, he becomes a member of the Luna State's War Cabinet and is put in charge of defense gunners.
  • Clayton Watenabe is a Japanese revolutionary, who is Mannie and Wyoh's contact for the New Hong Kong cell. Later, he becomes a member of the Luna State's War Cabinet and the Minister of Interior Affairs.
  • Wolfgang Korsakov is the chairman of LuNoHoCo, and he later becomes a member of the War Cabinet and the Secretary of State.
  • Terence Seehan is editor of the Lunaya Pravda and a revolutionary who becomes part of the War Cabinet and the government's Minister of Information.

Slim Lemke

When we first meet Slim, he is a member of the stilyagi (a type of Luna youth culture that borrows its name from the Russian youth culture movement of the mid-20th century). He takes issue with Stu touching Patricia and asks Mannie to be judge in a trial to determine Stu's fate. Later, he learns of his relation to the Stone gang and becomes a member of the revolution.

Howard Wright

Wright is the Luna Congress's Liaison for Arts, Sciences, and Professions. He is also the "yammerhead" (26.92) who questions Mannie's tactics of bombarding Earth. Mannie challenges him to a duel to settle the argument, but Wright backs down. It's strongly hinted that Finn kills the man anyway.

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