Darkness at Noon Essay

Words: 2079
Pages: 9

Stephen Batchelor
Professor Markovic
Western Heritage
26 March 2012
Darkness At Noon Many critics consider Arthur Koestler's novel, Darkness At Noon, to be one of the most insightful literary works regarding the qualitative attributes and characteristics of a totalitarian regime. Because of Koestler's personal experience as a Fascists prisoner under Franco, one can understand and appreciate the deep connecting parallels between Nicholas Rubashov, the protagonist, and Arthur Koestler, the author. At the time when this novel was published, few books existed that could accurately describe the inner workings of a totalitarian government, and the ideology that directed its course of action. It is easy to identify Koestler's personal
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For all order is for the sake of the community, and the individual must be sacrificed to the common good. (97)
It is this same philosophy that dictates not only actions of a totalitarian regime, but those of all governing bodies. Saint-Just said, "No one can rule guiltlessly" (1). When we take the time to objectively step back and analyze the flow of history, it is impossible to arrive at any other conclusion. "History knows no scruples and no hesitation. Inert and unerring, she flows toward her goal. At every bend in her course she leaves the mud which she carried and the corpses of the drowned," "He who is in the wrong must pay; he who is in the right must be absolved. That is the law of historical credit; it was our law (43, 99). Rubashov begins to understand that within the span of time, whomever succeeds in accomplishing their goal, decides what is right and what is wrong; there is no supreme foundational morality. Truth, is but the common consensus of the victors. That is the reason that the younger generation has become brutal, and less retrained. They are merely weighing the factors between morality and expediency. There is no personal vendetta or emotion behind their action. They are governed purely by reason; goal oriented action. The largest obstacle for mankind is its own conscience. If humanity decided to follow the law of history, then success would be conceptually possible. But it will never happen. Ivanov