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In Darkness at Noon, by Arthur Koestler, the detailed story of Nicolas Salmanovich Rubashov is displayed. Rubashov, now in prison for political divergences , is torn between the evolving policies of the Party and his own ideology. Basically, he must choose between life (Party policy) and death (his own beliefs). During his incarceration, Rubashov unwraps his every thought. This gives the reader great insight into why Rubashov eventually admits to all charges, despite their falsehood, and is martyred. Rubashov realizes that the will of No.
1 is too great and he is eventually liquidated by the same regime that he helped create.
During his first meeting with Ivanov, Rubashov clearly displays his unwillingness to admit to the charges brought against him. Had he not been given more time to think about his decision, Rubashov would have died in silence. (p. 102) However, Ivanov knew Rubashov well and stated that when he has thought out everything to its logical conclusion, he will capitulate. (p. 81) Ivanov was right on target.
However, it also took the interrogation tactics of Gletkin. Although most would not consider Gletkin s tactics to be brutal, they proved to be the factor that pushed Rubashov to end the game and his toothache.
The logical conclusion that Rubashov came up with was backed up with a greater cause. This cause was the Revolution. Rubashov was genuinely concerned with Russia s welfare and did not want to compromise his ideology. However, Rubashov has the ability to look to the future for answers. He writes, He who will be proved right in the end appears to be wrong and harmful before it.
(p. 78) Therefore, Rubashov is willing to act on credit and die, so that someday No. 1 will be proven wrong. (p. 79) Rubashov did not want to fall out of the swing like Bogrov. (p. 134) This illustrates his idea that honor is to be useful without vanity. (p. 140) To remain useful to society and the Party , Rubashov must capitulate. He realizes that it is not his duty to prove No. 1 wrong, history will do that for him.
Darkness at Noon turned out to be a very enjoyable novel. It gave an in-depth insight into Soviet politics, prison life, and the effects of Stalin s rule in the 1930 s. Reading this book makes me think of one particular phrase. GOD BLESS AMERICA! To most people this is just a story. But, to countless millions, this was a horrific way of life for many years.
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