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Darkness at noon by Arthur Koestler - Research Paper Example

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1 Darkness at Noon Winner of the prestigious Sonning Prize, Arthur Koestler is much known by his highly influential novel, Darkness at Noon. As a former member of Germany’s Communist Party Arthur was able to put into writing his own personal experiences and build up a compelling political tale…
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Darkness at noon by Arthur Koestler
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Download file to see previous pages Darkness at Noon stands second in series of a trilogy of novels that revolves about the fundamental theme of political ethics and revolutionary ethics in general. The other two dystopian novels written at the same time were Brave New World by Huxley and Nineteen Eighty Four by Orwell. These novels are unique in themselves as they reveal ugly truths and disturb us. The title of the novel is aptly named as Darkness at Noon. Noon time is the brightest time of the day and it is only during extraordinary situations (such as a storm or solar eclipse) that noon is engulfed in darkness. The same darkness is felt in the heavy oppressive theme of the 2 novel that starts with a prison scene and ends with acceptance of guilt. The darkness reflected in the book was actually a reflection of the political scene prevalent in the political history of Soviet Union. Just at a time when Communism was rising at its peak like a glowing sun, there came a solar eclipse in the lives of the leaders and took away many of their lives. What was more surprising that most of these leaders willingly accepted their so called crimes just for the sake of their party. The book looks into the interior monologue and the dire circumstances that make the men take up such extreme steps and sacrifice their names along with their lives. The story set in 1930s is compelling, didactic and angry. It revolves around Nicolas Salmanovitch Rubashov, who is imprisoned for counter revolutionary activities. Rubashov is an aging Communist Party member, now locked inside a cell as an indictment against a series of crimes that he could not have possibly committed. He has been ordered to be shot as soon as he publicly accepts the charges. But, he refutes the state’s offer to confess his guilt in public. Rubashov is not a saboteur, just a good communist. Though Rubashov possessed some degrees of independent thoughts and had arrogance of manner, he could not have committed such a serious crime such as conspiracy against his country. The country of his confinement is not confirm though from the various descriptions people can make out that he belonged to the Soviet Union and is confined in one of its cells. 3 Rubashov is arrested for crimes against the State and repeatedly interrogated and psychologically tortured till he give up and accepts those charges. As a former communist Koestler closely examines the high level of dedication filled in these Communists so that they readily confessed to quite ridiculous crimes at the Stalin’s Show Trials of the 1930s. By making the protagonist accept the guilt of the crimes, he projects that once you convince yourself that the ends justify the means, you should not be surprised when those means are turned against you. Soviet Union was experimenting to construct a new society. But, to make that society individuals were required to sacrifice some things. These ‘some things’ were life and a lifelong created reputation. Any sort of political deviation would weaken the roots of that society Thus, by sacrificing himself, Rubashov have a feeble hope that people would take it as a lesson and never deviate from the paths of moral standings. Darkness at Noon is one of the first literatures to be found on Soviet Union in the English language. According to George Orwell there was “in England almost no literature of disillusionment about the Soviet ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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