The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle Summary and Analysis of Chapters 7, 8, & 9


Chapter 7

Childan is invited to dinner at the home of Betty and Paul Kasoura, who live in a very fashionable neighborhood. The two welcome him into their tastefully decorated home, and Childan cannot help but note how attractive Betty looks in her kimono. Childan offers them a small piece of scrimshaw from New England as a gift.

The three discuss the recent death of Bormann. Paul says that the orgies attributed to Goring make his skin crawl, and Childan denounces the rumors as lies, embarrassing himself by insulting his host. Childan internally berates himself for being such a white barbarian.

Betty gets up to get more drinks, and Childan cannot help but admire her lovely figure. To draw Paul's attention away from his rude act, Childan comments on a nearby book - The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. Paul eagerly discusses it with him, describing a world in which the Japanese were defeated and never gained control of the west coast.

The three sit down to dinner - American fare, steak and potatoes - and continue discussing the book. Robert Childan boldly says that the world would be much worse if the Japanese had lost, because Communism would rule everywhere and the Jews would control the world. The Kasouras are taken aback by his intensity.

His pride wounded, Robert Childan eats in silence and ponders the nature of the Japanese. He thinks they are imitators, eating with U.S. silver and drinking from English bone china cups.

Still, Robert Childan leaves the home of the Kasouras feeling as though the dinner was a success. He finds a policeman waiting for him, who inquires about the appearance of the man who revealed that his pistols were a forgery. After being shown a picture of a man, Robert Childan confirms that this mysterious man is none other than Frank Fink, a Jewish man. The police officer thanks Childan for his help and departs. Frank thinks about The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, and decides that he must pick up a copy of this novel for himself. He wonders what a world without Japanese and German control would be like.

Chapter 8

Freiherr Hugo Reiss, the Reich’s Consul of San Francisco, arrives in his office and finds that his breakfast is delayed by a meeting with Kreuz vom Meere, the chief of the Sicherheitsdienst in the PSA area. The two men have a difficult relationship, because their duties tend to overlap. Vom Meere inquires about the status of someone he calls the "Abwehr character," and Reiss is puzzled. Vom Meere further explains that this man goes by the name of Rudolf Wegener and his whereabouts must be reported to the SD. Finally Reiss gets off the phone and returns to his breakfast.

One of his employees, Pferdehuf, comments that a retired Japanese general, Tedeki, is traveling incognito to the PSA; Reiss remarks that he is probably getting medical care. Just to avoid irritating his superiors in Berlin, Reiss tells Pferdehuf to tell the authorities that Tedeki has already arrived and it would be difficult to intercept him. This important matter taken care of, Reiss returns to reading his book - The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. He is chilled by the vivid description of the fall of Berlin, but enraged by two scenes depicting Hitler's trial and funeral. Reiss is especially upset by the death of Hitler, and decides that the PSA should really do more to suppress the book. He also daydreams about sending an assassin after Abendsen, the author of the book, but quickly turns to reading a speech by Goebbels.

Chapter 9

With the money they extorted from Wyndam-Matson, Ed McCarthy and Frank Frink have been able to purchase equipment and make a line of beautiful, high-quality jewelry. Ed McCarthy prepares to market it to stores like American Artistic Handicrafts, and Frank daydreams about what Juliana would look like wearing these creations.

Ed and Frank decide to try Childan's shop first. Ed will represent the jewelry there, since Childan would surely recognize Frank after his visit about the fake handguns.

On the way to the shop, Frank thinks about his wife Juliana, wondering if she is with a man and if he is good to her. He thinks about how beautiful she would look wearing one of their pieces, and decides to send one of them to her.

Juliana is wrapped in Joe Cinnadella's embrace. He suggests that they go on a trip to Denver; he'll take her out, buy her clothes, and treat her to a show. Juliana is stunned at this impulsive decision, but decides that it would be fun. She's a bit concerned about the money, but Joe reveals a large stack of Reichsbank bills.

She also finds an odd, heavy pen, but Joe distracts her from it with his enthusiasm and excitement. Juliana thinks he's in a strange mood, and asks where he got so much money. He explains that the trucking company hired him for protection, brandishing a knife for proof.

Juliana doesn't entirely buy his story, and wonders if she will have to use her judo to protect herself from this man.

Ed McCarthy meets with Robert Childan, but Ed proves to be a horrible salesman: he is awkward and foolish. Childan looks through the pieces, pretending to show interest, which makes Ed even more nervous. After building up Ed's hopes, Childan offers consignment for the items - Ed will leave the pieces with him and he'll give Ed a portion of the selling price. Of course, Childan thinks, small pieces often disappear, implying that Ed might never see any money for these pieces. Ed happily takes his deal.

Childan muses on the fact that shifting his business toward art might serve as insurance in case the high rate of forgeries among antiques ruins that market. The jewelry is quite beautiful, and he decides that he will give one of the pieces to Betty Kasoura. He considers bringing it to her at home - an excuse to see her without her husband there - but then decides to bring it to Paul instead, to impress him. Ed explains his interaction with Childan to Frank, and Frank is furious that Ed was not able to sell the pieces.


During his dinner with the Kasouras in Chapter 7, Childan's name begins to be written as “Robert.” This may be an indication that he is establishing a more concrete identity, rather than simply giving the responses that his listeners want to hear.

Robert Childan is still struggling with the psychological effects of colonization. He idolizes the powerful occupiers and desperately strives to please them, but also hates them for having power over him and frequently uses racial epithets to express his hatred for the Japanese.

The Grasshopper Lies Heavy is a recurring motif in the novel; it symbolizes the possibilities of other worlds. The Grasshopper Lies Heavy also functions as an act of protest in the world of The Man in the High Castle; many of the characters are divided on their opinions about the novel. Though neither the Germans nor the Japanese are particularly thrilled about this book, it circulates relatively freely in the Pacific States.

The Grasshopper Lies Heavy ties together a number of the diverse plotlines - Reiss and Juliana read it as well as the Kasouras. It is intriguing that Reiss fantasizes about sending an assassin after Hawthorne Abendsen right before the narrative switches to Juliana and Joe. Joe makes Juliana extremely uneasy, though she cannot articulate why. She also notices a number of odd things among his possessions, such as an unusually heavy pen.

The Abwehr was a German military intelligence agency that existed until 1945 in our world; in the world of The Man in the High Castle, it is still functioning. The Abwehr trained and deployed spies and conducted other stealthy activities. The fact that Baynes works for the Abwehr shows that he is a powerful man with access to important military information.