Darkness at Noon
Martin Luther King Jr. once noted, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” The effort mentioned in this quote can be seen through Arthur Koestler’s novel Darkness at Noon, in which Koestler explores the depth of the communist regime in Soviet Russia. The novel focuses on a man name Nicholas Salmanovitch Rubashov and the (Soviet) Party. Through the recollection of Rubashov’s memories as well as witnessing his experience with the terror of interrogation and imprisonment, Koestler portrays the meaning of humanity through the means of political ideologies and the sacrifices made to justify a goal. Koestler emphasis upon the suppression of individuality and humanity for the gains of political advances and its consequences depicts the offenses of extreme rational thinking. Darkness at Noon focuses on this motif as the Koestler weaves a tale of Communist Soviet Russia. Arthur Koestler subtle message of Darkness at Noon ‘s setting gives a clearer meaning to the novel itself. Despite never clearly admitting to the setting of the novel being in Soviet Russia during the Bolsheviks purging, readers were able to the interpret the setting through a series of the descriptive historical aspects provided as well as the Russian names. This aspect is imperative due to the time period. It helps readers get a more comprehensive understanding of Rubashov and the consequences of his actions. Soviet Russia during the 1930s proves to be a period of critical changes for the Stalinist regime with not only the Bolshevik purge but also the collectivization movement. These two particular movements explores the depth of the meaning of individuality and humanity in Soviet Russia. As the novel progresses through Rubashov’s thoughts readers are then expose to the clear critique of these extremist movements...
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