Darkness at Noon is one of the ground-breaking anti-communism books written by Arthur Koestler, a man who has a number of talents. The book was published in the year 1940, when the downfall of Communism was in complete dynamism all the way through the world. Koestler’s achievement in going against the tide is pretty much obvious from the kind of information that is put forward by his books. Koestler was a former member of the Communist Party, but he left it in revulsion when he heard of the elimination of Stalin in 1938. The novel is the result of his manifestations all through his incarceration in Spain by Franco’s soldiers.
The novel begins with an in-depth description of the captivity of Rubashov who is the protagonist of the book. As for the rest of the novel, it keeps on switching between the past and the present life of the protagonist a veteran Bolshevik revolutionary who is now in his fifties. He is locked up for crimes in opposition to the State, and these are plain accusations as he has not committed any of the crimes. The protagonist finds this hard to believe and in the words of the author, “in every corridor of the new model prison electric light was burning. It lay bleakly on the iron galleries, on the bare whitewashed walls, on the cell doors with the name cards and the black holes of the judas-eyes. This colorless light, and the shrill echoless sound of their steps on the tiled paving were so familiar to Rubashov that for a few seconds he played with the illusion that he was dreaming again. He tried to make himself believe that the whole thing was not real. If I succeed in believing that I am dreaming, then it will really be a dream, he thought” (Koestler, p.8). The complete story is for the most part Rubashov’s self-introspection with small pieces of discussion thrown in among him and the other characters. The plot slowly but surely opens out and renders–very pragmatically–along the way, the intentions and techniques of absolute rule.
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